Skip to main content

Full text of "The Forum"

See other formats


Google 



This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/| 



THE FOEUM. 






VOL. XX. 

September, 1895— February, 1896. 



NEW YORK : 

THE FORUM PUBLISHING CO. 



COPTRIOHT, 180S, 

By the forum PUBUSHINO 00. 



Ube Unicfeerbocker press, Hew IRocbene, «. », 






CONTENTS. 



PAOB 

The Enforcement of Law Theodore Roosevelt 1 

Municipal Progress and the Living Wage . . . D. McG. Means 11 

Professor Huxley Richard H. Hutton 23 

Criminal Anthropology : Its Origin and Application . . C. Lombroso 83 

Shall Cuba be Free ? Clarence Kino 60 

George Eliot's Place in Literature .... Frederic Harrison 66 

The Benefits of Hard Times Edward Atkinson 79 

The Anecdotic Side of English Parliamentary Dissolutions, 

Martin J. Oriffin 91 
Unsanitary Schools and Public Indifference . Douglas H. Stewart 108 
Methods and Difficulties of Child-Study . . Mrs. Annie Howes Barus 118 

The Civil Service as a Career H. T. Newcomb 130 

The Present Aspect of the Silver Question . . Charles S. Fairchild 129 
Well-Meant but Futile Endowments : The Remedy . Charles F. Thwino 183 
A Crisis in English History .... Sir Herbert Maxwell 144 
Causes of the Liberal Defeat .... George W. E. Russell 160 

" Why, Whence, and Whither ? " Justin McCarthy 170 

The Renascence in English Richabd Burton 181 

Demand and Supply under Socialism .... W. H. Mallock 198 

The Resuscitation of Blue-Laws Louis Windmitller 211 

Political Leaders of the Reconstruction Period . . • E. G. Ross 218 

The Actor, the Manager, and the Public .... John Malone 285 

"Anigher Pay and a Better Training for Teachers . John Gilmer Speed 247 

The Third-Term Tradition John Bach McMaster 257 

The General Railroad Situation O. D. Ashley 266 

The Navy as a Career Ajlfred T. Mahan 277 

A Review of Huxley's Essays W. K. Brooks 284 

Plutocracy and Paternalism Lester F. Ward 800 

Woman*s Position in Pagan Times H. H. Botesen 811 

Studies of Notable Men : Stamboloff . . . Stotan K. Vatralskt 817 

Tlie Modem Literary King Edward W. Bok 884 

The Chief Influences on My Career .... Anatole France 844 

The Centenary of Keats Montgomery Schuyler 856 

Codperation Among Farmers ..... Edward F. Adams 864 
A Generation of College Women .... Frances M. Abbott 877 
Conditions for American Commercial and Financial Supremacy, 

Paul Leroy-Beaulieu 885 
The Nature of Liberty W. D. Howells 401 



X *-^ 



iv 



CJONTENTS. 



PAOK 



Thomas Brackett Reed and the Fifty-First Ck>ngre8s. Theodore Roosevelt 410 
The Ethics of Party Loyalty .... Geobqb Walton Green 419 



Albert D. Vandam 429 

Margaret E. Sanoster 445 

Alfred C. Cassatt 456 

. WiLLLkM R. Thayer 465 

. Wm. De Witt Hyde 480 

Katrina Trask 489 

William Ferrero 492 

. Glen Miller 499 

508 

. Adolf Ladenburo 513 

John W. Midoley 519 

Sm Edmund R. Fremantle 531 

James H. Penniman 547 

William Ordway Partridge 554 

Wm. Bayard Hale 570 

Henry J. Garrigues 578 



The Trail of " Trilby " 

Editorship as a Profession for Women 

The Monroe Doctrine : Defence, not Defiance . 

Thomas Carlyle : His Work and Influence . 

The Pilgrim Principle and the Pilgrim Heritage 

The Obligation of the Inactive . 

Crime Among Animals ..... 

Has the Mormon Church Re-Entered Politics ? 

The Literary Hack and His Critics . 

Some Suggestions on Currency and Banking 

Railroad Rate Wars : Their Cause and Cure 

Naval Aspects of the Japan-China War 

Criminal Crowding of Public Schools 

The Development of Sculpture in America 

A Study of Church Entertainments 

Woman and the Bicycle 

The "German Vote" and the Republican Party, Frederick William Holls 588 

The Federal Census Carroll D. Wright 605 

Matthew Arnold's Letters .... Herbert Woodfield Paul 616 

Reminiscences of an Editor ......... 631 

Some Aspects of Civilization in America . . Charles Eliot Norton 641 
Our Monetary Programme .... J. Laurence Lauqhlin 652 

Victoria, Queen and Empress Sir Edwin Arnold 667 

The French Academy Henry Houssaye 683 

The Stage from a Clergyman's Standpoint . . . Thomas P. Hughes 695 
The President's Monroe Doctrine . . Theodore S. Woolsey 705 

Lord Salisbury and the Monro^ Doctrine . Oscar S. Straus 713 

The Duty of Congress Isaac L. Rice 721 

" Oerman- Americans" and the Lord's Day . William Croswell Doanb 733 

The Heine-Fountain Controversy .... William Steinway 739 

Notable Sanitary Experiments in Massachusetts . . W. T. Sedgwick 747 

Index 761 



V 

t 



Thepbrum 



SEPTEMBER, 1895. 



THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 

The question at issue in New York city just at present is much 
more important than the question of a more or less liberal Sunday 
excise law. The question is as to whether public officials are to 
be true to their oaths of office, and see that the law is administered in 
good faith. The Police Board stands squarely in favor of the honest 
enforcement of the law. Our opponents of every grade and of every 
shade of political belief take the position that government officials, 
who have sworn to enforce the law, shall violate their oaths whenever 
they think it will please a sufficient number of the public to make 
the violation worth while. It seems almost incredibje that in such a 
controversy it should be necessary to do more than state in precise 
terms both propositions. Yet it evidently is necessary. Not only 
have the wealthy brewers and liquor-sellers, whose illegal business 
was interfered with, venomously attacked the Commissioners for 
enforcing the law ; but they have been joined by the major portion 
of the New York press and by the very large mass of voters who put 
the gratification of appetite above all law. These men have not 
dared to meet the issue squarely and fairly. They have tried to 
befog it and to raise false issues. They have especially sought to 
change the fight from the simple principle of the enforcement of law 
into a contest as to the extent of the restrictions which should prop- 
erly be placed on the sale of liquors. They do not deny that we 
have enforced the law with fairness and impartiality, but they insist 
that we ought to connive at law-breaking. 

Copyright, 1804, by the Forum Publishing Company. 



2 THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 

Very many friends of the reform movement, and very many poli- 
ticians of the party to which I belong, have become frightened at the 
issue thus raised ; and the great bulk of the machine leaders of the 
Democracy profess to be exultant at it, and to see in it a chance for 
securing their own return to power. Senator Hill and Tammany in 
particular have loudly welcomed the contest. On the other hand 
certain Bepublican politicians, and certain Bepublican newspapers, 
have contended that our action in honestly doing our duty as public 
officers of the municipality of New York will jeopardize the success 
of the Eepublican party, with which I, the President of the Board, 
am identified. The implication is that for the sake of the Bepublican 
party, a party of which I am a very earnest member, I should violate 
my oath of office and connive at law-breaking. To this I can only 
answer that I am far too good a Eepublican to be willing to believe 
that the honest enforcement of law by a Bepublican can redound to 
the discredit of the party to which he belongs. This applies as much 
to the weak-kneed municipal reformers who fear that we have hurt 
the cause of municipal reform, as it does to the Bepublicans. I am 
not an impractical theorist; I am a practical politician. But I do 
not believe that practical politics and foul politics are necessarily 
synonymous terms. I never expect to get absolute perfection ; and 
I have small sympathy with those people who are always destroy- 
ing good men and good causes because they are not the best of 
all possible men and all possible causes; but on a naked issue of 
right and wrong, such as the performance or non-performance of 
one's official duty, it is not possible to compromise. Indeed, ac- 
cording to the way we present Commissioners feel, we have noth- 
ing to do vrith Bepublicanism or Democracy in the administration 
of the police force of the city of New York. Personally, I think 
I can best serve the Bepublican party by taking the police force 
absolutely out of politics. Our duty is to preserve order, to pro- 
tect life and property, to arrest criminals, and to secure honest elec- 
tions. In striving to attain these ends we recognize no party ; we 
pay no heed to any man's political predilections, whether he is within 
or without the police force. In the past, " politics, " in the base 
sense of the term, has been the curse of the police force of New 
York; and the present Board has done away with such politics. 

The position of Senator Hill and the Tammany leaders, when re- 
duced to its simplest terms, is merely the expression of the conviction 
that it does not pay to be honest. They believe that advocacy of law- 



THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 3 

breakiDg is a good card before the people. As one of their newspapers 
frankly put it, the machine Democratic leaders intend to bid for the 
support of the voters on the ground that their party " will not enforce 
laws" which are distasteful to any considerable section of the public. 
Senator Hill declaims against the Board because it honestly enforces 
the law which was put on the statute-book but three years ago by his 
legislature and his governor (for he owned them both). This is of 
course a mere frank avowal that Senator Hill and the Democratic 
leaders who think with him believe that a majority in the State can 
be built up out of the combined votes of the dishonest men, the stupid 
men, the timid weaklings, and the men who put appetite above princi- 
ple, — who declare, in the language of Scripture, that their god is 
their belly, and who rank every consideration of honor, justice, and 
public morality below the gratification of their desire to drink beer at 
times when it is prohibited by law. 

When such are the fears of our friends and the hopes of our 
foes, it is worth while briefly to state exactly what the condition of 
affairs was when the present Board of Police Commissioners in New 
York took oflBce, and what that course of conduct was which has 
caused such violent excitement. The task is simple. On entering 
office we found, — what indeed had long been a matter of common 
notoriety, — that various laws, and notably the excise law, were 
enforced rigidly against people who had no political pull, but were 
not enforced at all against the men who had a political pull, or who 
possessed sufficient means to buy off the high officials who controlled, 
or had influence in, the Police Department. All that we did was to 
enforce these laws, not against some wrong-doers, but honestly and 
impartially against all wrong-doers. We did not resurrect dead laws ; 
we did not start a crusade to enforce blue laws. All that we did was 
to take a law which was very much alive, but which had been used 
only for purposes of blackmail, and to do away entirely with the black- 
mail feature by enforcing it equitably as regards all persons. Looked 
at soberly, this scarcely seems a revolutionary proceeding; and still 
less does it seem like one which needs an elaborate justification. 

In an authorized interview with Mr. J. P. Smith, the editor of 
the "Wine and Spirit Gazette," the position of the former Police 
Board — and of Senator Hill and his political allies as well — toward 
the enforcement of the excise law has been set forth with such 
clearness that I cannot do better than quote it. Mr. Smith's state- 
ment appeared on July 18 last. No attempt whatever has been 



4 THE ENFORCEBiENT OF LAW. 

made to controvert its truth, and it may be accepted as absolute. 
What makes it all the more important is that it was evidently made, 
not at all as an attack upon the persons implicated, but as a mere 
statement of fact to explain certain actions of the liquor-sellers in the 
past. The interview runs in part as follows : 

** Governor Flower, as well as the Legislature of 1892, was elected upon dis- 
tinct pledges that relief would be giTen by the Democratic party to the liquor- 
dealers, especially of the cities of the State. In accordance with this promise 
a Sunday-opening clause was inserted in the excise bill of 1892. GoTemor 
Flower then said that he could not approve the Sunday -opening clause ; where- 
upon the Liquor Dealers' Association, which had charge of the bill, struck the 
Sunday-opening clause out. After Governor Hill had been elected for the second 
term I had several interviews with him on that very subject. He told me, 'Do 
you know, I am the friend of the liquor-dealers and will go to almost any length 
to help them and give them relief ; but do not ask me to recommend to the Legis- 
lature the passage of the law opening the saloons on Sunday. I cannot do it, for 
it will ruin the Democratic party in the State. ' He gave the same interview to 
various members of the State Liquor Dealers* Association, w)io waited upon him 
for the purpose of getting relief from the blackmail of the police, stating that 
the lack of having the Sunday question properly regulated was at the bottom of 
the trouble. Blackmail had been brought to such a state of perfection, and had 
become so oppressive to the liquor-dealers themselves, that they communicated 
first with Governor Hill and then with Mr. Croker. The' Wine and Spirit Ga- 
zette' had taken up the subject because of gross discrimination made by the po- 
lice in the enforcement of the Sunday-closing law. The paper again and again 
called upon the Police Ck)mmissioners to either uniformly enforce the law or uni- 
formly disregard it. A committee of the Central Association of Liquor Dealers 
of this city then took up the matter and called upon Police Commissioner Mar- 
tin. An agreement was then made between the leaders of Tammany Hall and the 
liquor -dealers, according to which the monthly blackmail paid to the police should 
be discontinued in return for political support. In other words, the retail dealers 
should bind themselves to solidly support the Tammany ticket in considera- 
tion of the discontinuance of the monthly blackmail by the police. This agree- 
ment was carried out. Now what was the consequence? If the liquor-dealer, 
after the monthly blackmail ceased, showed any signs of independence, the Tam- 
many Hall district leader would give the tip to the police captain, and that man 
woiild be pulled and arrested on the following Sunday.** 

Continuing, Mr. Smith inveighs against the law, but says: — 

''The Police Commissioners [tlie present Police Commissioners] are hon- 
estly endeavoring to have the law impartially carried out. They are no re- 
specters of persons. And our information from all classes of liquor-dealers is 
that the rich and the poor, the influential and the uninfluential, are required 
equally to obey the law." 

I call particular attention to the portion of the interview which I 
have italicized above. It shows conclusively that the Sunday-closing 
feature was deliberately left in by Senator Hill and his aides because 
they did not believe they could afford to strike it out. It is idle 



THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 6 

to talk of a provision thus embodied in statute law as being a dead 
letter. Still more idle is it to talk of a law as *' antiquated" when 
it was enacted only three years ago. 

Mr. Smith's statement shows moreover that Tammany heartily 
approved of keeping the law in its present condition because, by so 
doing, they kept a sword suspended over the neck of every re- 
calcitrant saloon-keeper. The law was never dead at all. It was 
very much alive. We revived it only in the sense that we revived 
the forgotten, habit of administering it with decency and impartiality. 

To show the nonsense of the talk that it was obsolete or a dead 
letter, I call attention to the following figures. In the year 1893, 
4,063 arrests were made in New York city for violation of the excise 
law on Sunday. This represented a falling oS from previous years. 
In 1888, for instance, the arrests had numbered 6,830. In 1894, the 
year before we took office, when the Tammany Board still had abso- 
lute power, the arrests rose to 8,464. On Sunday, September 30 of 
that year, they numbered 233; on October 14, 230; on the follow- 
ing January 13, they rose to 254. During the time that the present 
Board has been enforcing the law the top number of arrests which 
we have reached was but 223, a much smaller number than was 
reached again and again under the old regime. Nevertheless by 
our arrests we actually closed the saloons, for we arrested men indis- 
criminately, and indee^d paid particular attention to the worst offend- 
ers, — the rich saloon-keepers with a pull; whereas under the old 
system the worst men were never touched at all, and all of them 
understood well that any display of energy by the police was merely 
spasmodic and done with some special purpose ; so that always, after 
one or two dry Sundays, affairs were allowed to go back to their 
former condition. The real difference, the immense, the immeasurable 
difference between the old and the new methods of enforcing the law, is 
not one of severity, but of honesty. The old Tammany Board was as 
ruthless in closing the saloons where the owners had no pull, as we are 
in closing all saloons whether the owners have or have not a pull. 

The corrupt and partial enforcement of the law under Tammany 
turned it into a gigantic implement for blackmailing a portion of the 
liquor-sellers, and for the wholesale corruption of the Police Depart- 
ment. The high Tammany officials, and the police captains and 
patrolmen, blackmailed and bullied the small liquor-sellers without a 
pull and turned them into abject slaves of Tammany Hall. On 
the other hand, the wealthy and politically influential liquor-sellers 



6 THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 

absolutely controlled the police, and made or marred captains, 
sergeants, and patrolmen at their pleasure. Many causes have tended 
to corrupt the police administration of New York, but no one cause 
was so potent as this. 

In the foregoing interview the really startling feature is the matter- 
of-fact way in which Mr. Smith records his conference with the Presi- 
dent of the Police Board, and the agreement by which the system of 
blackmail was commuted in view of faithful political service to be 
hereafter tendered to Tammany Hall. It is hard seriously to discuss 
the arguments of people who wish us to stop enforcing the law, when 
they must know, if they are capable of thinking and willing to think, 
that only by the rigid and impartial enforcement of the law is it pos- 
sible to cut out from the body politic this festering sore of political 
corruption. It was not a case for the use of salves and ointments. 
There was need of merciless use of the knife. 

When we entered office the law was really enforced at the will of 
the police officials. In some precincts most of the saloons were 
closed ; in others almost all were open. In general, the poor man 
without political influence and without money had to shut up, while 
his rich rival who possessed a " pull" was never molested. Half of 
the liquor-sellers were allowed to violate the law. Half of them 
were not allowed to violate it. Under the circumstances we had one 
of two courses to follow. We could either instruct the police to 
allow all the saloon-keepers to become law-breakers, or else we could 
instruct them to stop all law-breaking. It is unnecessary to say that 
the latter course was the only one possible to officials who had respect 
for their oaths of office. 

The clamor that followed our action was deafening ; and it was also 
rather amusing in view of the fact that all we had done was to per- 
form our obvious duty. At the outset the one invariable statement 
with which we were met was that we could not enforce the law. A 
hundred — aye, a thousand — times we were told by big politicians, by 
newspapers, by private individuals, that the excise law could not be 
enforced; that Mayor Hewitt had tried it and failed; that Superin- 
tendent Byrnes had tried it and failed ; that nobody could succeed in 
such a task. Well, the answer is simple. We have enforced the 
law, so far. It is very badly drawn, so as to make it extremely 
difficult of enforcement ; and some of the officials outside the Police 
Department hamper instead of aiding the police in their efforts to 
enforce it. However, we understand well that we must do the best 



THE ENFORCEMENT OP LAW. 7 

we can with the tools actually at hand, if we cannot have the tools 
we wish. We cannot stop all illegal drinking on Sunday, any more 
than we can stop all theft; but so far we have succeeded in securing 
a substantial compliance with the law. 

The next move of our opponents was to adopt the opposite tack, 
and to shriek that, in devoting our attention to enforcing the excise 
Law, we were neglecting all other laws; and that in consequence 
crime was on the increase. We met this by publishing the compara- 
tive statistics of the felonies committed, and of the felons arrested, 
under our administration and under the previous administration. 
These showed that for a like period of time about one felony less a 
day occurred under our administration, while the number of arrests for 
felonies increased at the rate of nearly one a day. During our term 
of service fewer crimes were committed and more criminals were 
arrested. In the Sunday arrests for intoxication, and for disorderly 
conduct resulting from intoxication, the difference was more striking. 
Thus in the four Sundays of April, 1895, the last month of the old 
regime^ there were 341 arrests on charges of intoxication and of being 
drunk and disorderly. For the four Sundays beginning with June 
30, — ^the first day that we were able to rigidly enforce our policy of 
closing the saloons, — the corresponding number of arrests was but 196. 
We put a stop to nearly half the violent drunkenness of the city. 

The next argument advanced was that Americans of German 
origin demanded beer on Sundays, and that the popular sentiment 
was with them and must be heeded. To this we could only answer 
that we recognized popular sentiment only when embodied in law. 
To their discredit be it said, many men, who were themselves public 
officials, actually advocated our conniving at the violation of the law 
on this ground, — of the alleged hostility of local sentiment. They 
took the view that as the law was passed by the State, for the entire 
State including the city, and was not (as they contended) upheld 
by public sentiment in the city, the officers of the law who are sworn 
to enforce it should connive at its violation. Such reasoning would 
justify any community in ignoring any law to which it objected. 
The income-tax law was passed through Congress by the votes of 
the Southerners and Westerners, but it was collected (prior to the 
time it was declared to be unconstitutional) mainly in the Northeast. 
Any argument which would justify us in refusing to obey the excise 
law in New York would justify the whole Northeast in refu ring to 
obey the income-tax law. 



8 THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 

The spirit shown by the men and the newspapers who denounce 
us for enforcing the law is simply one manifestation of the feeling 
which brings about and is responsible for lynchings, and for all the 
varieties of Whitecap outrages. The men who head a lynching 
party, and the officers who fail to protect criminals threatened with 
lynching, always advance, as their excuse, that public sentiment 
Sanctions their action. The chief offenders often insist that they 
have taken such summary action because they fear lest the law be 
not enforced against the offender. In other words, they put public 
sentiment ahead of law in the first place; and in the second they 
offer, as a partial excuse for so doing, the fact that too often laws are 
not enforced by the men elected or appointed to enforce them. The 
only possible outcome of such an attitude is lawlessness, which 
gradually grows until it becomes mere anarchy. The one all -impor- 
tant element in good citizenship in our country is obedience to law. 
The greatest crimes that can be committed against our government 
are to put on the statute books, or to allow to remain there, laws that 
are not meant to be enforced, and to fail to enforce the laws that exist. 

Mr. Jacob A. Riis, in a recent article, has put this in words so 
excellent that I cannot refrain from quoting them : 

"That laws are made to break, not to obey, is a fact of which the street takes 
early notice, and shapes its conduct accordingly. Respect for the law is not 
going to spring from disregard of it. The boy who smokes his cigarette openly 
in defiance of one law, carries the growler early and late on week-days in defiance 
of another, and on Sunday of a third ; observes fourteen saloons clustering about 
the door of his school in contempt of a fourth which expressly forbids their 
being there ; plays hookey secure from arrest because nobody thinks of enforcing 
the compulsory education law ; or slaves in the sweat-shop under a perjured age- 
certificate bought for a quarter of a perjured notary ; and so on to the end of the 
long register, while a shoal of offensive ordinances prohibit him from flying a 
kite, tossing a ball, or romping on the grass, where there is any, — cannot be 
expected to grow up with a very exalted idea of law and order. The indifference 
or hypocrisy that makes dead letters of so many of our laws is one of the con- 
stantly active feeders of our jails. . . . The one breaks the law, the other lias it 
broken for him. . . . The saloon is their ally, and the saloon is the boy's club as 
he grows into early manhood. It is not altogether his fault that he has no otlier. 
From it ho takes his politics and gets his backing in his disputes with the police. 
That he knows it to be despised and denounced by the sentiment responsible for 
the laws he broke with impunity all his days, while to him it represents the one 
ix)tent, practical force of life, is well calculated to add to his mental confusion 
as to the relationship of things, but hardly to increase his respect for the law or 
for the sentiment behind it. We need an era of enforcement of law — less of 
pretence — more of purpose. " 

The Police Board is doing its best to bring about precisely such an era. 
The worst possible lesson to teach any citizen is contempt for the 



THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 9 

^ 

law. Laws should not be left on the statute books, still less put on 
the statute books, unless they are meant to be enforced. No man 
should take a public office unless he is willing to obey his oath and 
to enforce the law. 

Many of the demagogues who have denounced us have re- 
proached us especially because we took away " the poor man's beer," 
and have announced that, law or no law, the poor man had a right 
to his beer on Sunday if he wished it. These gentry, when they 
preach such doctrine, are simply preaching lawlessness. If the 
poor man has a right to break the law so as to get beer on Sun- 
day, he has a right to break the law so as to get bread on any 
day. It is a good deal more important to the poor man that he 
should get fed on week-days than that he should get drunk on 
Sundays. The people who try to teach him that he has a right to 
break the law on one day to take beer are doing their best to pre- 
pare him for breaking the law some other day to take bread. 

But as a matter of fact all the talk about the law being enforced 
chiefly at the expense of the poor man is the veriest nonsense and 
hypocrisy. We took especial care to close the bars of the big hotels. 
We shut every bar-room on Fifth Avenue as carefully as we shut 
every bar-room on Avenue A. We did not hurt the poor man at 
all. The people whom we hurt were the rich brewers and liquor- 
sellers, who had hitherto made money hand over fist by violating 
the Sunday law with the corrupt connivance of the police. There is 
small cause for wonder that they should grow hot with anger when 
they found that we had taken away the hundreds of thousands of 
dollars which they had made by violation of the law. There is small 
cause for wonder that their newspaper allies should have raved, and 
that Senator Hill should eagerly have inin to their support. But it 
is a wonder that any citizen wishing well to his country should have 
been misled for one moment by what they have said. The fight 
they have waged was not a fight for the poor man; it was a fight in 
the interest of the rich and unscrupulous man who had been accus- 
tomed to buy immunity from justice. As a matter of fact we have 
helped the poor man and notably we have helped the poor man's 
wife and children. Many a man who before was accustomed to 
spend his week's wages getting drunk in a saloon now either puts 
them up or takes his wife and children for a day's outing. The 
hospitals found that their Monday labors were lessened by nearly 
half, owing to the startling diminution in cases of injury due to 



10 THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW. 

drunken brawls. The work of the magistrates who sat in the city 
courts for the trial of small offenders was correspondingly decreased. 
All this was brought about by our honest enforcement of the law. 

To sum up, then, Senator Hill, and his allies of every grade, 
berate us because we have in good faith enforced an act which they, 
when they had complete control of the legislature and the govern- 
ment, put on the statute books with the full belief that it would be 
enforced with corrupt partiality. They are responsible for the law. 
We are responsible for having executed it honestly, — the first time it 
ever has been executed honestly. We are responsible for the fact that 
we refused to continue the old dishonest methods, and that we broke 
up the gigantic system of blackmail and corruption to which these 
methods had given rise ; a system which was the most potent of all 
the causes that have combined to debase public life in New York 
and to eat the very heart out of the New York police force. Senator 
Hill and his allies passed a law which was designed to serve as the 
most potent of weapons for keeping the saloon-keepers bound hand 
and foot in the power of Tammany Hall and of the State Democratic 
organization which followed Tammany's lead. We have undone their 
work by the simple process of administering the law in accordance 
with the elementary rules of decency and morality. I am far too 
good an American to believe that in the long run a majority of our 
people will declare in favor of the dishonest enforcement of law ; 
though I readily admit the possibility that at some given election 
they may be hopelessly misled by demagogues, and may for the 
moment make a selfish and cowardly surrender of principle. The 
men who last fall won the fight for municipal reform, for decent 
government in our cities, cannot afford to borrow from their defeated 
antagonists the old methods of connivance at law-breaking. 

In the end we shall win, in spite of the open opposition of the forces 
of evil, in spite of the timid surrender of the weakly good, if only 
we stand squarely and fairly on the platform of the honest enforce- 
ment of the law of the land. But if we were to face defeat instead 
of victory, that would not alter our convictions, and would not cause 
us to flinch one hand's breadth from the course we have been pursu- 
ing. There are prices too dear to be paid even for victory. We 
would rather face defeat as a consequence of honestly enforcing the 
law than win a suicidal triumph by a corrupt connivance at its 
violation. 

Theodore Roosevelt. 



MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 

The condition of the streets of New York is not a matter that 
concerns the inhabitants of that city alone. It interests directly 
every one who has occasion to come to the city, whether he comes 
from foreign parts or from this country, and the number of such 
travellers is very great. In a larger sense, the cleaning of these 
streets affects, although indirectly and insensibly, the welfare of the 
whole country. The city of New York is the great toll-gate of our 
commerce. Its position is so commanding as to enable it to levy 
tribute upon the larger part of all our imports and exports of mer- 
chandise, and the amount of this tribute and the manner in which it 
is expended are not matters of merely local concern. If the taxes in 
New York are excessive, or the money derived from them is wasted, 
the expense of transacting business there is increased. The loss may 
be incurred primarily in New York, but it does not end there. It is 
diffused throughout our industries. It may be felt on the cotton 
plantations of Texas and in the cotton mills of Maine; in the wheat 
fields of Dakota and on the fruit farms of the Pacific slope. 

As a pecuniary matter alone, therefore, the street-cleaning 
problem in New York is of general importance. But its chief con- 
sequence lies in this, that it illustrates, in the clearest way in which 
illustration has yet been given, the grave danger that besets the path 
of municipal government in the future. When Colonel Waring took 
charge of the Department of Street-Cleaning, he found that he was re- 
quired by law to pay in wages nearly double what was necessary. He 
demonstrated that he could clean the streets properly for the amount 
appropriated, provided he could obtain authority to pay the rate of 
wages current in the market, and that he could give the laborers so 
employed steady work; or he could clean the streets imperfectly, 
paying the wages fixed by law, and giving somewhat irregular em- 
ployment. But if the city wished to have the streets kept clean at 
all times, while he was obliged to pay the legal wages, it would be 
necessary to have a much larger appropriation. The issue was most 
explicitly stated by Colonel Waring, and most carefully evaded by the 



12 MUNICIPAL. PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 

city authorities. Violent attacks were made on him from various 
quarters, and at one time the press seemed about to abandon his cause. 
But the admirable condition of the streets was a weightier argument 
in his favor than any that could be brought against him, and at the 
last moment the city authorities yielded. 

But they did not yield on the matter of wages. They tried to see 
if expenses could not be reduced in every other direction, but the plain 
course suggested by Colonel Waring they most studiously ignored. 
And they were finally driven to strain the law in a manner which 
was shown by one of their own number to constitute a most dangerous 
precedent. The Board of Health is empowered, when sudden emer- 
gencies arise, such as the advent of pestilence, to call for the appro- 
priation of exceptional sums of money. It was pretended that, unless 
the system adopted by Colonel Waring was kept up in full perfec- 
tion, the health of the city would be suddenly and seriously endan- 
gered, and by the aid of this transparent fiction an appropriation 
largely in excess of that provided by law was made available. 

Every one knows how wages and salaries in New York have come 
to be fixed by law at the present rates. It is necessary that funds 
should be provided for the purposes of the " machine," and the most 
convenient way of raising these funds is by assessing the oflSce- 
holders. In order that they may pay these assessments without 
resistance the legislature is induced to fix their compensation at a 
figure higher than the market rate, thus leaving a substantial margin 
for political contributions. It is easy to see why men who have been 
engaged in politics in New York should be unwilling to disturb this 
system or publicly to recognize its existence. But it is not so easy to 
understand why reformers have not attacked it, or why the public 
appears to be indiflEerent to it. But it seems probable that a doctrine 
known in England as that of the " living wage" has exerted a silent 
but powerful influence in checking any movement to cut down the 
wages paid by the city of New York to its servants. 

The principle of the " living wage, " according to those who advo- 
cate it, requires that workmen should get more than what their labor 
will bring in the market. They should be paid, not what they will 
consent to receive, " pinched by hunger and under the stress of need, " 
but such wages as will enable them to maintain a proper standard of 
living. There is a " moral minimum" of earnings below which they 
ought not to sink, and employers of labor should observe this prin- 
ciple in dealing with their workmen. But as the ordinary employer 



MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 13 

is prone "to do business on business principles," municipal Dodies 
have been selected by the English Socialists as proper agencies for 
establishing this " moral minimum" ; and it is said that over 250 local 
governing boards in England — to say nothing of the general govern- 
ment — have now adopted the principle. 

It would be unreasonable to suppose that action of this kind in 
England and elsewhere has not been dictated by benevolent motives. 
While we need not estimate too highly the virtue of spending other 
people's money generously, having still in mind Boss Tweed's lavish 
charities, we must recognize the fact that many of those who give 
freely of what they have to the service of the poor are attracted by 
socialistic ideals and are' disposed to welcome socialistic experiments. 
They would be glad — as indeed we all should — ^to have poor people 
get higher wages than they do now, and they think that if the muni- 
cipalities will set the example of raising wages other employers will 
be induced or compelled to follow. It seems scarcely probable that 
those who entertain this conviction have fully reasoned it out. Yet 
their standards of duty are so high that it is not unreasonable to ask 
that they should not lend their support to a principle of this character 
until it has been firmly established. In an inquiry of this kind we 
must not allow our conclusions to be afifected by our desires. No 
matter how gladly we should welcome an improved standard of living 
among the poor, we cannot conscientiously adopt a measure claimed 
to produce this result without evidence that it has such tendency. 
At the least we should be sure that it will not do more harm than good. 

In order to form clear ideas upon such a subject we must dismiss 
from our minds the conception of the laborer as compelled by hunger 
to accept whatever wages the employer chooses to offer him. This 
may have been at some time and in some country historically true ; 
but it is at least not true at present either in England or in this 
country. No doubt there are times of depressed business when even 
good workmen cannot get work. There are also times of brisk busi- 
ness when even good employers cannot get workmen. The rate of 
wages is an average rate, fluctuating widely under many influences, 
but never in this country so low as not to afford a sufficient, if not a 
comfortable, support to the workman who is only moderately sober, 
honest, and industrious. But whether this is true or not, it is im- 
material. The rate of wages may at times not be sufficient for the 
support of laborers, but that fact cannot at once bring about a general 
rise of wages, or even render it possible for government to cause such 



14 MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 

rise by paying higher rates to its servants: on the contrary, such a 
policy on the part of government under such circumstances might 
produce the very opposite eflEect. 

This conclusion appears indisputable ^hen we reflect that the 
revenue of government is subtracted from that of its subjects. 
Whatever it receives comes out of their earnings. If it increases its 
expenditure, it diminishes theirs. If it spends more money in hiring 
workmen, its subjects have less to spend in hiring workmen, or, what 
comes to the same thing in the end, in buying the products of their 
labor. If it should so happen that the government should spend 
this money in the same manner in which it would have been spent by 
those from whom it is collected by the tax-gatherer, — that is, in paying 
laborers at the same rate at which they would have been paid for 
equal work, — there may be no waste, and the condition of laborers as 
a class may not be affected. But if the government undertakes to 
pay the " living wage, '' — that is, to pay laborers at a higher rate than 
private employers pay for like service, — it necessarily follows that the 
same sum of money, when expended by the government, gives employ- 
ment to fewer men than when expended by the citizens. It is 
another corollary that the product will be correspondingly less, and 
we know from experience that the product will be even more than 
correspondingly less. Thus the action of the government in paying 
its servants more than the market rate for their work tends to depress 
the " moral minimum" in the case of the servants of its subjects. 

Nevertheless the conviction clings in some minds that in some 
mysterious way the government may subtract a part of the revenue 
of its subjects without affecting their ability to expend as much for 
wages as they did before. Of course the question of the necessity of 
governmental protection to individual rights is not here involved. 
We must assume that business cannot go on without the aid of law, 
and that hardly any price is too much to pay for the good order which 
is indispensable to all productive industry. But the proposition is that 
an additional tax, levied by government for the purpose of paying 
wages to its servants at a higher rate than that fixed by competition, 
and so expended, does not lessen the ability of those who pay the tax 
to pay the same wages that they paid before the tax was levied. 
Although they contribute more to pay the workmen of the govern- 
ment, they somehow have just as much left to pay to their own. 

This proposition is at least paradoxical, and it is far from easy, 
to one who does not believe it to be true, to invent arguments in its 



MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 15 

support. Possibly it may be thought that employers will, in the 
case supposed, not reduce wages, but forego a part of their profits. 
But why should they do so? By hypothesis their wealth is reduced 
while the number of workmen available remains the same. Under 
these circumstances the rate of wages tends to decline rather than to 
rise. If the employers had more money and there were no more 
laborers, the employers would compete with each other to get the 
additional hands which their increased capital would employ. But 
if the employers have less money, they are disposed to employ fewer 
hands, and laborers compete with each other for work. If the legisla- 
ture could compel employers to pay the "living wage," then, it is 
conceivable, the rate of profit might fall, for employers might prefer 
to accept a lower rate rather than to abandon business. But even 
this result is far from certain theoretically, and of course it is absurd 
to imagine that it can be practically realized. 

But let it be granted that employers, after paying their increased 
taxes, make no reduction in wages, but accept lower profits. It 
becomes necessary then to ask what they do with their profits. A 
pait of them they expend unproductively, and a part of them they 
save, or set apart for the employment of labor. Their profits being 
reduced, they must either spend less, or save less, or both. If they 
were to spend less, the consequent decrease in the amount of wages 
paid might be temporary. But if they save less the loss is perma- 
nent. Hence we must conclude that the cost of the experiment of 
paying the " living wage" can be prevented from falling upon the mass 
of laborers who do not enjoy the favor of the government only by 
being charged upon the luxurious consumption of their employers. 
If their employers will deny themselves some of their accustomed 
luxuries, the government can indulge its employees in the luxury of 
the " living wage" without calling upon laborers as a class to pay 
for it. If employers do not diminish their consumption of luxuries, 
then laborers as a class must pay for the privilege granted by law 
to a few of their number. But if employers are suflSciently benevo- 
lent to practise a self-denial which cannot be proved to be forced 
upon them, in order to enable government to experiment in raising 
the "moral minimum," it seems probable that they have sufficient 
benevolence to spend of their own accord a fitting part of their in- 
come in promoting the welfare of the poor. And all experience 
shows that for such enterprises they have displayed a greater capacity 
than the officers of government. 



16 MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE UVINQ WAGE. 

But the question may still be repeated, Are not wages largely 
determined by custom, and may not the example of paying higher 
wages, set by government, have an eflfect upon private employers? 
Custom undoubtedly affects the rate of wages, and in individual 
cases example may be potent. But the effects of custom and 
example are frequently misapprehended. When " hard times" 
come, in communities where customary wages prevail, some laborers 
must lose their employment. There is not money enough to pay 
them all at the customary rate, and, since this rate is maintained, 
some of them must go hungry. In one sense the average rate of 
wages is not reduced. The laborers that have work may get the 
same wages as before. But the whole body of workmen do not get 
the same wages as before, and the average wages of laborers as a class 
are therefore lowered. Mutatis mutandis, in good times average 
wages are higher. Thus the difference between the rigtme of custom 
and that of competition is more apparent than real. 

As to the effect of example in the conduct of business affairs, it 
is easy to be misled by the fallacy of composition. We look at A 
and B, and say that they can perfectly well afford to pay higher 
wages than they do. A great wealthy corporation — such as the New 
York Central Railroad, for instance — could perhaps, in the popular 
judgment, double the wages of its employees, were it not for its 
rapacity and greed. It is quite true that individuals are at liberty 
to pay such wages as they please, provided they pay their debts. 
Prosperous business men, those who continuously make more than 
average profits, could pay more than average wages. But the 
smartest of them do not know that they will continue to make more 
than average profits, and if they managed their business on the 
theory that such profits could be counted on, they would very often 
come to ruin. But such men are exceptional, and the great mass of 
business men make no more than average profits, and can pay no 
more than average wages. The example of others has nothing to 
do with their action. Not what they would, but what they must, 
is their rule. The maxim, " Profits are the leavings of wages,'' con- 
tains the gist of the matter. Wages must be paid first, and if a man 
pays too high wages, his profits will be so low that he cannot make 
a living at his business. We constantly see people ruined by trying 
to follow the example of their wealthier acquaintances in keeping 
many servants and maintaining a showy establishment. They live 
beyond their means, and the fact that others set them an example of 



MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 17 

too high a " moral minimum" of expenditure does not increase their 
income a single penny. It is not a question of example, but of ability ; 
and the same is true of the wages paid and other expenses incurred 
in the conduct of business in general. 

As to corporations, it can only be said that their managers are 
required by law, and by ordinary business prudence, to conduct 
their affairs on business principles. It is the duty of such managers 
to pay the lowest wages which will ensure them the best possible 
service. Perhaps it often happens that these managers would get 
better service if they paid higher wages than they do in fact. It is 
their mistake if this is so, but it does not affect the principle by 
which their action must be guided. They may be as generous as 
they please with their own money, but not with that of their stock- 
holders. As a matter of fact this principle is often disregarded by 
these managers, who pay excessive salaries and indulge in many 
extravagant expenditures, to the ruinous loss of the owners of both 
stocks and bonds. But the principle remains unaffected, in morals, 
if not in law. As to the owners of stocks and bonds, it can only be 
said, in a summary way, that they have to average their good invest- 
ments with their bad ones, in reckoning their income. The results 
in the long run are not such as to justify them in insisting that their 
corporations shall be governed by the example of municipalities in 
fixing the rate of wages. Municipal enterprises are not obliged to 
pay dividends, frequently not even interest. Business corporations 
must do both, leaving the righteous use of the profits which they 
earn to the consciences of those who receive them. 

The considerations hitherto presented point to the conclusion that 
the payment by government of a higher rate of wages than that pre- 
vailing in the market tends rather to diminish than to increase average 
wages. With those who regard such increase as eminently desirable, 
this conclusion should be sufficient to discredit the doctrine of the 
" living wage. " But there are other consequences involved in this 
doctrine, when practically applied, which may well be regarded as even 
more serious than the diminution of the reward of labor. These 
consequences are briefly as follows : For the government to pay to 
such laborers as it employs higher wages than others can obtain, is 
unjust. It creates a privileged class, and this is contrary to the 
spirit of our institutions. The existence of such a class arouses 
envy and leads to corruption. And finally, the reform of the civil 

service, on which rest our hopes for municipal progress, can never 
2 



18 MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE UVING WAGE. 

be permanently established "while a privileged class of office-holders 
is maintained. 

The first of these consequences is a corollary from the reasoning 
already employed. Unless it can be proved that the payment of 
higher wages to its workmen by government increases the wages of 
other workmen, these others have a right to complain. Oovemment 
cannot assume the position of the lord of the vineyard in the parable. 
It cannot say to workmen not in its employ, " You are not injured 
by my paying my men more than you get. If I paid them less you 
would get no more. " The complaining workmen would reply, " This 
is a government of equal rights and no favors. You have no busi- 
ness to collect taxes from the whole people and distribute them so 
that a few are exceptionally benefited. If you possess this marvel- 
lous power of making money go farther than your subjects can, you 
must exercise it so that all may share in its results. " In spite of 
the " dog-in-the-manger" sound of this claim, it is obvious that it is 
supported by the most elementary principles of political morality. 
No democratic constitution could endure unless it recognized the 
principle that public moneys are a fund held in trust for the whole 
people, to be distributed only in such a manner as to give every one 
a fair share of the resulting benefits. Any other principle would 
encourage partiality and lead to the grossest abuses. It is true that 
such abuses exist in practice; but they are indefensible on principle. 

The supposition that has just been examined is, however, an 
extreme, and, if the previous argument has any validity, an absurd 
one. The payment of higher wages by government does not raise, 
but lowers, the average rate, and the injustice of the policy is self- 
evident. Under a monarchy or an aristocracy the standard of justice 
is different. A king may pay his laborers who have worked but one 
hour the same wages as those who have borne the burden and heat of 
the day, and none may question his right to do what he wills with 
his own. An aristocracy is based upon the conception that some 
men are, merely by virtue of their birth, superior to others, and such 
men may claim corresponding perquisites. But in a government by 
the people, equality is the essence of justice, and no subject can claim 
any favor. 

It is evident from what has just been said that the existence of a 
class of employees favored by government arouses envy. The ques- 
tion is not to be complicated with any assumption that the employees 
of government are a superior class. In so far as they are superior 



MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 19 

they are entitled to higher compensation. If their fitness has been 
determined by competitive examination, they may justiy claim pre- 
ferment over those that are proved unfit. But the comparison must 
be made, not between the fit and the unfit, but between the fit who 
get the places and the fit who do not. It is to be expected that the 
incapable will be envious. Had they sufficient magnanimity not to 
be envious, they would not be veiy apt to be incapable. Such virtue 
would imply ability. Their envy, however, while it may be a serious 
evil so long as appointments are made without regard to merit and as 
rewards for party services, is nothing that needs be considered under 
the competitive system. It is a part of their general discontent with 
the universe and their disapprobation of the processes of natural selec- 
tion. They cannot succeed because they do not deserve to succeed, 
and if we have a system under which desert brings success, we cannot 
relinquish it because of tiie complaints of tiie undeserving, no matter 
how much we may pity them. 

It is otherwise when men are excluded, not because they are unfit, 
but because others have crowded in before them. We are familiar 
with the spectacle of a crowd of applicants for every position under 
government, and we know that often most of such applicants are 
unfit for any position. We are not yet familiar with the spectacle 
of a crowd of meritorious applicants ; but if the compensation attached 
to such positions is greater than can be earned elsewhere by like 
service, this spectacle will infallibly be presented. If this compensa- 
tion were no more than what could be otherwise earned, the number of 
office-seekers would be diminished until the supply was equal to the 
demand. But if this is not the case, those who fail to secure office 
through no fault of their own will naturally be envious. They will 
be angry at what they properly regard as injustice, and their griev- 
ance will have dangerous consequences. 

For those who by favor or fortune have secured privileged places 
will do what all privileged classes have done in the past. They will 
be apprehensive of losing advantages to which they feel their title is 
of doubtful justice, and they will combine to protect themselves. 
This is no speculative peril. The legislature of New York has more 
than once responded to combinations of this kind with increases of 
salaries, and such increases have been procured by corrupt means and 
are available for corrupt purposes. Were the salaries only such as 
are paid in the competitive market, such corruption would be im- 
possible. Bather than pay assessments, office-holders would run 



20 MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 

the risk of being removed, consideriDg that they could do as well 
elsewhere as in the public service. But if they know that their 
o£9cial pay is greater than they can obtain in private life, the tempta- 
tion is strong to buy security. We shall presently consider how 
far the case is affected by permanency of tenure. But unless per- 
manency can be counted on without paying for it, experience proves 
that it will be paid for. And as those who are in will pay to Btay 
in, so those who are out will pay to get in. They will beset the 
legislature with their appeals. They will insist upon the creation of 
new offices and the extension of governmental activity. And their 
opponents will labor under the immense disadvantage of having to 
defend a system which is indefensible, and to justify what is unjust. 

The bearing of this upon the reform of the civil service is plain 
enough. If this reform is established, it means ruin to the profes- 
sional politicians, and this they know right well. From the begin- 
ning they have thwarted the reform by every means in their power. 
They dealt it a serious blow this year in Massachusetts, and those who 
are in a position to judge say that the last New York legislature would 
have wiped it off the statute-book had not the new Constitution saved 
it. The politicians will fight as those who are fighting for their lives. 
If they cannot control the offices they are confronted with starvation. 
They are impecunious as a class, and they are generally so worthless 
and incapable as not to command responsible positions in private life, 
or indeed to give satisfaction in any position. There can be no doubt 
as to their views on the " living wage." Experience confirms theory. 
The multiplication of offices and the overpayment of those who hold 
them are the cardinal principles of such organizations as Tammany 
Hall. Its leaders may not be aware that their practice has anticipated 
the most advanced theories of the Socialists; but the instinct of self- 
preservation often outruns the conclusions of thought. 

Very splendid and beautiful visions of municipal progress arc 
indulged in by social reformers. Their views are denounced as im- 
practicable, but the examples of some foreign cities prove that there 
is no impossibility involved in the improvement of our own. While 
we may not realize the civitas deij we are not precluded by any un- 
alterable conditions from raising our municipal governments out of 
the miry pit in which they are now struggling. We know how to 
deal with crime on scientific principles, and if we should apply our 
knowledge the criminal classes would in a short time be nearly ex- 
tirpated. We know how to ensure good sanitary conditions, and if 



MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE LIVING WAGE. 21 

we should use what we know, the terrible overcrowding of the poor 
would be arrested, and only habitations fit for human use would be 
built. We are not ignorant of what is beautiful in architecture, and 
might make our public buildings the delight of our eyes. The 
children of the common people might receive such education as would 
fill their lives with sweetness and light. In a thousand ways we 
might engage in the service of the community the limitless powers of 
nature and the inexhaustible devotion of man. 

These ideals can be realized. But they can never be realized if 
the government of our cities is to remain in the luture in such hands 
as have controlled it in the past. The professional politicians can 
carry it on no better than they have done. Their motive is the 
enjoyment of the reward of ofiice, and with this motive their actions 
must correspond. Success in their calling implies qualities that 
unfit them for the ideal public service, and requires such assiduous 
attention to the machinery of party as prevents any comprehensive 
study of the needs of government. In some way we must rid our- 
selves of this class of servants if we are to improve our housekeep- 
ing. Unless we do so we may as well cease to tantalize ourselves 
with the hope of establishing our city governments upon any per- 
manently improved basis. 

It appears, therefore, that all our prospects of nobler civic life 
hang upon the reform of the civil service. If we can make admis- 
sion to this service depend upon fitness, and if we can maintain per- 
manency of tenure, a great future opens before our cities. But the 
opposing forces are mighty, and their hostility will be unceasing. 
They have every advantage of position and of discipline. They will 
fight by fair means or by foul. They cannot surrender, and if they 
apparently cease to struggle it will only be to throw their adversaries 
oflE their guard. They will make no serious mistakes, and they will 
overlook none that are made. Unless their power for mischief can 
be reduced it will be almost impossible to maintain the principle of 
permanency of tenure of office. At all events this principle can be 
maintained only by the most incessant vigilance, and its champions 
cannot afford to handicap themselves by attempting the defence of 
any doubtful positions. 

If the reform of the civil service is to be loaded down with the 
doctrine of the " living wage, " or even if it is not explicitly connected 
with the doctrine and the practice of paying the market rate of wages 
and salaries, it can never be established on a permanent basis. It 



22 MUNICIPAL PROGRESS AND THE UVINQ WAQK 

may maiDtain itself, but it will be in perpetually unstable equilibrium. 
The offices will continue to be looked on as prizes, and the struggle 
to secure them by other means than competitive examinations will 
be perennial. The reform will have to bear the odium that always 
attaches to privilege and to favoritism, and it will be in constant 
danger of losing popular support. The politicians will make out 
a plausible, and, in the opinion of many, an unanswerable case, when 
they charge the reformers with perpetuating the practices which they 
have denounced, and with creating a privileged class of office-holders; 
and the office-holders themselves can feel no security in their posi- 
tions, and will be tempted to ally themselves with men whose enmity 
is to be dreaded, and to make friends of the mammon of unrighteous- 
ness through partisan activity. 

It seems, therefore, that the most dangerous foes of higher muni- 
cipal development are to be found among those who clamor most 
eagerly for it. The politicians stand across the path of progress, but 
they can be overthrown if the counsels of their opponents are wise. 
But if these counsels are divided, and if many of those who are most 
sincerely and earnestly devoted to reform are determined to bring it 
about by socialistic experiments, the politicians may look forward 
yet to a long lease of power. They have but one great source of 
strength and revenue, and that is to be left untouched. They are 
vulnerable in but one spot, and that is not to be aimed at. They can 
be overcome unless their opponents commit one error, and that error 
is to be committed. Civil-service reform can be carried through, 
and all that it means for improved civic life be secured, if it embodies 
the principles on which alone ordinary business can be safely con- 
ducted. Otherwise it cannot permanently succeed, and in the judg- 
ment of many well-disposed citizens it will be better that it should not 
succeed. It would result in fastening upon the community a 
privileged class of office-holders too numerous and too expensive to be 
borne. To imperil this reform for the sake of experimenting with a 
theory which is at best unproved, if not altogether fallacious, is to 
assume a responsibility of the gravest kind. It is certainly the 
part of prudence to make sure of the reform of the civil service 
before everything else. If that is done we may find that the ques- 
tion of the " living wage" has lost its importance in the general 
improvement of our social condition. 

David MacGregor Means. 



PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 

Professor Huxley was undoubtedly a man of genius, and I 
suppose, as every one who has a right to speak says so, of speculative 
genius. But I doubt whether his speculative genius was as great as 
his genius for debate, for exposition, for attack and defence. I have 
no pretension to say a word upon the biological sciences in which his 
reputation was greatest. But I have seen him as he appeared in 
philosophical, in theological, in practical discussions, and have greatly 
admired the inimitable lucidity, the fascinating vivacity, the ready 
humor, the happy irony, and the intellectual audacity, which he dis- 
played in either defending his own position or assailing that of an 
antagonist. And I cannot help thinking, when I note how often he 
was tempted out of his special studies to sit on Commissions, to 
attend popular discussions, to represent Science on the London 
School Board, and even to assail the pretensions of the Salvation 
Army, that the genius of the man was less naturally attracted to 
speculative reflection and that meditative chewing of the cud which 
made his friend Charles Darwin so great, than it was to the give-and- 
take, the guard-and-thrust, of social and practical life. At a meet- 
ing of the British Association in 1860 he encountered the late Bishop 
Wilberforce, — a foeman well worthy of his steel, — in a duel on the 
subject of the evolution of man out of some lower form of being such 
as that of the anthropoid apes, and repelled a somewhat personal, and 
indeed unjustifiable, attack with a brilliance and vigor that excited 
the admiration of many whose intellectual sympathies were rather 
with the bishop than with the biologist. But the reflection which 
that sharp encounter elicited from those who either heard or read of 
it was this, — how great a figure each of the combatants might have 
made in a very different and more popular field of debate, and how 
much more each of them might have done if his gifts had not been 
so closely confined to a single field of study, but had been exercised 
in that wider arena in which meditative concentration is not half so 
much needed as presence of mind, rapidity of judgment, ready wit, 
and fertility of resource, applied under the guidance of benevolent 



24 PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 

impulses, sagacious instincts, and strong common-sense. We have 
too often reason to regret that men who were great in the study have 
wasted themselves in administrative duties and in either the debates 
of Parliament or the oratory of the platform. But we have, now and 
then, good grounds for regret of a very different kind, and I have 
often thought that, in the case of both these brilliant antagonists, 
their great gifts might have been applied with more advantage for 
the welfare of their fellow-men, if both the divine and the biologist 
had made political life their principal object, and they had become, 
what they must have become, great leaders of men rather than spe- 
cialists in a field where devout or speculative ardor is of even more 
consequence than wit, combativeness, and presence of mind. 

I saw a good deal of Professor Huxley during the years when his 
great gifts and energies were at their meridian, especially between 
the years 1870 and 1877, for in 1869 we both took part in the 
formation of a society of which he was one of the most brilliant 
members — the Metaphysical Society; and in 1876 we sat side by side 
on a Commission in which we happened to represent diametrically 
opposite points of view, — the Commission to inquire into the char- 
acter of painful experiments on living animals, and the desirability 
of imposing, on those who make them, such limitations as might 
prevent the infliction of the kind of torture of which there are in 
Europe, and even in England, too many instances.* In both cases I 
had many opportunities not only of observing him closely, but of 
entering with him into those more conversational discussions which 
were not limited by the conventional rules of even that semi-public 
debate. And my own impression certainly was that an abler and 
more accomplished debater was not to be found even in the House of 
Commons, and that he was never more effective than when he 
diverged from the narrower field of the specialist into the wider fields 
of popular interest. He made extraordinarily effective use also of 
his very wide and accurate reading in his own special studies, a kind 
of use which often puzzled the so-called metaphysicians, and reduced 

1 Consideriog that Professor Huxley represented the physiologists on this 
Commission, I was n^uch struck with his evident hon-or of anything like torture 
even for scientific ends. I still remember the shudder with which he received 
one scientific man's assertion that a friend of his, who had done very painful 
vivisections, still hoped to meet his dogs again in ** another and a better world." 
Huxley was a good draughtsman, and thereupon drew a grim pen-and-ink sketch 
of the meeting between the vivisector and a wretched creature of a dog with his 
tattered nerves " dissected out. ** 



PROFESSOR HUXLEY. %5 

them to bewildered silence. For example, I shall never forget the 
dismay with which many of us heard his paper on the question, " Has 
the frog a soul, and of what nature is that soul, supposing it to 
exist?" 

I am sure that he must have written it with an ironic smile, fore- 
seeing how he would puzzle most of his hearers with his biological 
statements. He pointed out that if the frog has a soul at all, it 
must have two souls, for if the spinal cord is divided, both the 
divided parts manifest separately precisely the same kind of pur- 
posive action, though they do not cooperate. " The rational princi- 
ples are specially present in each, because these are nothing else than 
the functions of the gray matter, and the gray matter in each con- 
tinues to exert its inherent powers. " " The separated head and trunk 
may be sent a hundred miles in opposite directions, and at the end 
of the journey each will be as purposive in its actions as before. " 
Of course a great many of his hearers were ignorant of the physio- 
logical facts which he narrated, and many of those who were not 
entirely ignotant of them bad never considered them in relation to 
the problems he attacked : as to whether, for instance, a human being 
with his spine broken has or has not a separate reason or will in 
those lower limbs which manifest every sign of sensation, without the 
smallest consciousness in the man himself that he has suffered what 
he appears to observers to suffer, if those lower limbs are irritated or 
tickled. I need hardly say that the discussion on this paper was not 
very " nutritive. " The Metaphysical Society can hardly be said to 
have had a mind of its own on the question whether a frog has a 
soul or not. And I do not suppose that Professor Huxley himself 
had any distinct opinion on it. He certainly held that a great part 
of the organization of every living being is strictly that of an 
automaton without a conscious mind; and I believe he thought it 
probable that such creatures as frogs, even when they give signs of 
pain, are not always suffering, since they give the same signs of pain 
as men give under conditions when the men, if questioned, will 
affirm that they have not suffered at all. But the real object of 
Huxley's paper was to bewilder; and, with the greater part of the 
Metaphysical Society, he certainly succeeded, — all the more, perhaps, 
that he himself was very uncertain as to what the legitimate inference 
as to the consciousness of the frog ought to be. But he at least be- 
lieved that the problem is insoluble in our present state of knowledge, 
and he had nothing more at heart than to persuade the Metaphy- 



26 PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 

sical Society that insoluble problems lie on all sides of us, — in 
which modest ambition, I think, he succeeded. 

I remember another paper of his which was, I think, much less 
successful, as in it he travelled a good way beyond the region where 
he was master of his ground. It was a paper, conceived in a very 
reverent and even tender spirit, stating his views very frankly, 
though with great delicacy, on the miracle of the resurrection. His 
object was to show, and undoubtedly he did show, that the disciples 
of Christ had, and could have had, no physiological evidence that 
what we now mean by death had ever taken place in the body of our 
Lord at all. I do not suppose that any one — even if he held, as I do, 
that the Gospel of John is not less trustworthy, or is even more trust- 
worthy, in its account of the historical facts, than any of the synoptic 
Gospels — would deny this. It is perfectly evident that if the sup- 
position that our Lord never died at the time when He was believed 
by the Church to have died, were otherwise tenable, we neither have, 
nor could have, any proof that death in the physiological sense had 
really taken place, since at that period the physiological evidences of 
death, as we now understand them, were not formulated at all. But 
what Professor Huxley entirely ignored was the impossibility of the 
supposition that our Lord could have recovered consciousness and 
the power of movement in the maimed and wounded condition in 
which the crucifixion had left Him, without his intimate friends and 
followers knowing perfectly well that He was corporeally, at the time 
of His so-called resurrection, a mere resuscitated and helpless invalid, 
and that if He subsequently lived, for a number of days or weeks or 
months or years, on this earth, and then died, the stress which they 
laid on His resurrection was a mere fraud, — a conviction that would 
have put a final end to all that enthusiasm of faith on which the 
spread of His gospel wholly depended. Of all suppositions, that 
which seems to be the most irrational is the supposition that our 
Lord recovered in the ordinary way from the exhaustion and torture 
of the Cross, and died a natural death at last, without a rumor of 
the truth having escaped to extinguish forever the awe and gratitude 
with which His resurrection had been regarded by the infant Church. 
But the object of Huxley's paper was hardly, I think, so much to 
convince the Metaphysical Society that the resurrection of Christ had 
been believed by Christians on no evidence worthy of the name, as 
to seize an opportunity for a very eloquent apology for the incredulity 
of men of science. Professor Huxley ended by remarking that men 



PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 27 

of science are often told that the study of physical science unfits 
them for the due estimate of moral probability, and that indeed it 
might be so if moral probability is to be considered as the art of 
" accumulating inconclusive arguments, in the hope that a great heap 
of them may at least look as firm as one good demonstration. " But, 
he went on, men of science have one advantage: — 

" We are daily and by rough discipline taught to attach a greater and greater 
responsibility to the utterance of the momentous words 'I believe. ' The man of 
science who commits himself to even one statement which turns out to be de- 
void of good foundation loses somewhat of his reputation among his fellows, 
and, if he be guilty of the same error often, he loses not only his intellectual, but 
his moral standing amongst them. For it is justly felt that errors of this kind 
have their roots rather in the moral than in the intellectual nature. Doubtless, 
men thus sharply disciplined are apt to apply their own standards of right and 
wrong universally ; and where such a story as the miraculous version of the resur- 
rection is presented to them for acceptance, they not only decline to believe it, 
but they assert that, from their point of view, it would be a moral dereliction to 
pretend to believe it. Looking at fidelity to truth as the highest of all human 
duties, they regard with feelings approaching to abhorrence that ojmical infidel- 
ity which, when Reason reports ' No evidence, ' and Conscience warns that in- 
tellectual honesty means absolute submission to evidence, attempts to drown the 
voice of both by loud assertion, backed by appeals to the weakness and the 
cowardice of human nature.** 

That has always seemed to me one of the most characteristic and 
most impressive specimens of Professor Huxley's eloquence, "which 
was eloquence of no common order. And it certainly contains a les- 
son which we all greatly need. But it does not convince me that 
Professor Huxley's own mind was not as much open to prepossessions 
of a very potent kind against a good many sorts of conclusive evi- 
dence, as the minds of many who have not been submitted to what 
he justly calls the " sharp discipline" of scientific training. For in 
his combativeness he " drank delight of battle with his peers', " as 
eagerly as ever did Ulysses " far on the ringing plains of windy 
Troy." And this militant spirit of his gave him far too implicit a 
confidence in the armor of men of science to admit of his feeling half 
as self -distrustful as some of the opponents on whose credulity he 
looked down. He was always more himself when he was, in his 
own opinion, destroying some idol of his antagonists, than when he 
was stating what he believed to be a truth. For example, he 
claimed to be in the strictest sense an Agnostic. He thought it 
the only true sort of religion to cherish " the noblest and most human 
of man's emotions by worship, *for the most part, of the silent sort,' 
at the Altar of the Unknown and Unknowable" ; and he sympathized 



28 PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 

with those Athenians who had set up an altar a^^cD^rr^ 0e^j " to the un- 
known God," — the incident related in the Acts of the ApoBtlefl, — 
from which he borrowed for himself the name of Agnostic. But 
whenever he came to explain what these emotions are, which are so 
noble and are yet excited by the pure negation of all knowledge, you 
find him slipping in a good many assumptions to which, if used by 
an opponent, he would have taken the strongest objection, as exhib- 
iting a most illegitimate use of " the momentous words, *I believe. '" 
For example, in one of the most impressive of his lay sermons, he 
says : — 

** Suppose it were perfectly certain that the life and fortune of everj one of 
us would, one day or other, depend upon his winning or losing a game of chess. 
Don't you think that we should all consider ft to be a primary duty to learn at 
least the names and the moves of the pieces ; to have a notion of a gambit, and 
a keen eye for aU the means of giving and getting out of check? Do you not 
think that we should look with a disapprobation amounting to scorn, upon the 
father who allowed his son, or the State which allowed its members, to grow up 
without knowing a pawn from a knight? Yet it is a very plain and elementary 
truth that the life, the fortime, and the happiness of every one of us, and, 
more or less, of those who are connected with us, do depend upon our knowing 
something of the rules of a game infinitely more difficult and complicated than 
chess. It is a game which has been played for untold ages, every man or woman 
of us being one of the two players in a game of his or her ovni. The chess-board 
is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game 
are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden 
from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we 
know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake or makes the smallest al- 
lowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well, the highest stakes are paid, 
with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong shows delight in 
strength. And one who plays ill is checkmated, — without haste, but without 
remorse. My metaphor will remind some of you of the famous picture in which 
Retzsch has depicted Satan playing at chess with man for his soul. Substitute 
for the mocking fiend in that picture a calm, strong angel who is playing for 
love, as we say, and would rather lose than win, — and I should accept it aa an 
image of human life. Well, what I mean by Education is learning the niles of 
this mighty game. " 

" We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient." The 
words " we know" are stronger, and are even more " momentous" 
than the words " we believe. " They are expressive of the very op- 
posite of "agnosticism." Where, then, is the agnostic? JBow do 
we know that the player is a " strong angel who is playing for love, as 
we say, and would rather lose than win"? — and yet Professor Huxley 
tells us, almost in the same breath, that the hidden player is one who 
does not even give " a word and a blow^ and the blow first, but the 
blow without the word. " " It is left to you to find out why your 



PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 29 

ears are boxed." That is Professor Huxley's own description of the 
mode in which the " strong angel who plays for love, and would 
rather lose than win," treats the unfortunate player who has to find 
out for himself even the rules of the game at which he is playing, — 
a treatment, as it seems to me, neither angelic nor " generous. " But 
the eloquent teacher was himself so expert in boxing the ears of those 
who, in his opinion, had never learned the rules of the games at 
which they played with him, that I suppose he thought the same 
policy perfectly legitimate in the mysterious player to whom he gave 
" worship mostly of the silent sort, " for want of the knowledge which 
would have enabled him to explain clearly why the worship was 
given. The moment he attempts to explain why he worships, he 
assumes what he would have taken an ordinary theist severely to task 
for presuming to assume. Yet how any " noble emotion, " even of the 
silent sort, is to be fostered toward a being who has no recognizable 
attributes, this great intellectual wrestler never ventured to declare. 

Professor Huxley was very well read in the philosophy of the 
mind, but there again he seems to me to have had his attitude deter- 
mined by a fixed iconoclastic purpose. On the critical subject of 
Free-will and Necessity, he never, I think, went, to the bottom of 
the subject, but was always delighted to bewilder his opponents by 
saying strong things in a vivid way. In his little study of Hume, 
he never really discusses the deepest question at issue, but turns the 
flank of the Free-willist's position by such phrases as: "In that 
form of desire which is called * attention,' the train of thought held 
fast for a time, in the desired direction, seems ever striving to get 
on to another line, " * yet to call one of the most characteristic forms 
of volition a " form of desire" is the most audacious philosophical 
petiiio principii with which I am acquainted. Of course if will is a 
mere " form of desii'e, " there is no question to argue ; but the very 
issue between Professor Huxley and his opponents depends on 
whether, when we resolve to attend to an unwelcome subject, in spite 
of the desires which strive to get " on to another line," it is the desire 
which holds the thought fast, or that which overrules and controls 
desire, namely, the will. How audaciously Huxley dealt with this 
fundamental issue of philosophy, nothing could show better than the 
striking passage in the lecture on Descartes, in which he says : ' — 

"Thus I am prepared to go with the Materialists wherever the true pursuit of 
the method of Descartes may lead them, and I am glad on all occasions to declare 

> Hume, p. 92. < ** Lay Sermons, " p. 296. 



30 PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 

my belief that their fearless development of the materialistio aspect of these 
matters" [namely, the possibility of establishing a correlation between me- 
chanical force and volition] ** has had an immense and a most beneficial influ- 
ence upon physiology and psychology. Nay, more, — when they go further than 
I think they are entitled to do, — when they introduce Calvinism into science, and 
declare that man is nothing but a machine, I do not see any particular harm in 
their doctrines, so long as they admit that which is a matter of experimental 
fact, — namely, that it is a machine cax>able of adjusting itself within certain 
limits. I protest that if some great Power could agree to make me always think 
what is true, and do what is right, on condition of being turned into a sort of 
clock, and wound up every morning before I got out of bed, I should instantly 
close with the offer. The only freedom I care about is the freedom to do right ; 
the freedom to do wrong I am ready to part with on the cheapest terms to any 
one who will take it of me. But when the Materialists stray beyond the borders 
of their path, and talk about there being nothing else in the world but Matter 
and Forces and necessary laws, . . . Idecline to follow them." 

That is an admirable specimen of the vivacity with which Professor 
Huxley spoke at the Metaphysical Society, and of the manner in 
which he, like the hidden player in the great game of life, boxed the 
ears of his antagonists without telling them why their ears were 
boxed. But it seems to me that nothing could be more sophistical 
than the way in which, in this powerful passage, he plays with the 
word " freedom." He says he should have no objection at all to be 
wound up like a chronometer, if, by being thus wound up, he could 
always secure going right ; but then he says it is only the freedom 
to go right about which he cares, and that he would part with the 
freedom to go wrong on the cheapest terms to any one who would 
take it of him. But does he really mean that a chronometer has any 
freedom to go either right or wrong? I suppose that, so far as it 
goes right, it is under the necessity of going right, and has no free- 
dom in the matter. And what he means is, therefore, that if he 
could part with every atom of freedom on condition of always feeling 
and acting as he should, he would grasp at the offer. But how are 
you to do right if the very meaning of the word is changed, and there 
is no such thing as right to do. Bight as applied to the going of a 
chronometer, and right as applied to the actions of the will, are as 
different in meaning as the " reins" with which you rein in a horse 
are from the " reins" which summon you in the night season to reflect 
on your conduct during the day. You might just as well call a good 
chronometer " virtuous" as call a man a right-doer who was as mere 
an automaton in everything he did as he is in breathing, or blushing, * 
or turning pale. Professor Huxley always knew how to bewilder 
his antagonists, but I think he sometimes bewildered his antagonists 



PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 81 

without really oonvincing himself. His eagerness to be an automaton 
would hardly have been proclaimed if there had been any chance of 
his being taken at his word. But then his readiness to be trans- 
formed into an automaton did not seem to him inconsistent with 
retaining his " freedom to do right. " 

What I have never fully understood is the reverence which Pro- 
fessor Huxley expressed, and certainly deeply felt, for Jesus of 
Nazareth — whom he called " the greatest moral genius the world has 
seen," — though he himself regarded worship "for the most part of 
the silent sort" at " the altar of the Unknown and Unknowable" as 
the ideal of the highest human worship. Of course I do not doubt 
that he made the allowances which every wise man must make for the 
immense chasm between the age of faith and the age of science. But 
why he should speak of Jesus Christ " as the realized ideal of almost 
perfect humanity, " if agnosticism be the nearest approach to truth 
that we have yet made, I cannot understand. Surely " the realized 
ideal of almost perfect humanity" has done more to keep the human 
race from appreciating " natural knowledge" at the high rate at 
which Professor Huxley appreciated it, than any other human being 
who ever lived. Nay, even Christ's pure and ideal morality was 
rooted deep in the life of a living God, and not at all like " worship 
for the most part of the silent sort" at " the altar of the Unknown and 
Unknowable. " I cannot imagine any book which has diverted the 
human race so far from the true path of education as Professor 
Huxley traces it out in his " Lay Sermons, " as the Bible ; nor any 
life traced in the Bible which has had a tenth part of the same effect 
in causing that wide departure from the study of what Professor 
Huxley meant by " natural knowledge, " as that of Jesus Christ. 
Professor Huxley declares that to the Palestinian Jew " God was 
immanent in a sense few Western people realize. " Well, was that 
a conception that has led the world right, or that has led it wrong? 
If right. Agnosticism must be in the last degree misleading. If 
wrong, how can Jesus of Nazareth be " the realized ideal of almost 
perfect humanity"? There never was a more dazzling, misleading 
will-o'-the-wisp than the attitude of Jesus Christ toward God, if the 
teaching of Professor Huxley's " Lay Sermons" is to be regarded as 
verifiable. " The man of science, " said this great warrior on the side 
of the skeptics, " has learned to believe in justification not by faith, 
but by verification. " Well, what was the verification of the positive 
teaching " that the hairs of your head are aU numbered"? Was it, 



32 PROFESSOR HUXLEY. 

in Professor Huxley's mind, "justified" at all? And if not, what 
is more paradoxical than the proposition that Jesus Christ was ^ the 
greatest moral genius the world has seen," and that he was the 
realized ideal of almost perfect humanity? Did Jesus Christ ever 
conceive the duty of skepticism as to the love and guardianship of God? 
And how, then, could Professor Huxley reverence so profoundly the 
man who taught the creed most opposed to his own that " Skepticism 
is the highest of duties, blind faith the unpardonable sin"? 

The only manner in which, with my knowledge of the man, his 
tenderness and his combativeness, his irony and his impulsive moods 
of reverence, I can reconcile Huxley's strong denunciations of any- 
thing like unverified beliefs, with his sudden bursts of passionate 
feeling for One who was by no means a worshipper of the Unknown 
or Unknowable since he led the world into a perfect rapture of belief 
that rendered it blind and deaf for centuries to " natural knowledge, " 
is by assuming that a great deal of his skepticism was a kind of 
habitual expression of the eager combativeness of his nature. If the 
words " I believe" were to him so " momentous, " it was not solely 
because they and their converse expressed the final judgment of a 
very keen intellect, but also because they embodied the defiance of 
a veiy warlike and ardent spirit. Professor Huxley loved to throw 
down the glove to those who seemed to him to bar the way against 
the exploring genius of a very daring nature. But, none the less, he 
had that in him which often spurred him on to renounce his own 
most cherished canons of judgment and most approved repudiations 
of faith. Before that unseen player, whom he recognized as so 
utterly unknown and unknowable that he contrasted him almost 
scornfully with the God of Christian creeds, he sometimes invited 
us all to bow our heads in acts of true adoration. And so long as he 
could combine his love of Christ with some sort of defiance of con- 
ventional Christianity, he did not hesitate to prostrate himself before 
the Being whose normal nature subdued him into a feeling of awe for 
which he could find no adequate utterance, and in the presence of 
which, physical wonders lost their impressiveness, and the ethics of 
tribal evolution, to which he subscribed, found themselves so utterly 
bereft of all sublimity, that they seemed the pallid ghosts of the vision 
and the thought of Christ. 

Richard H. Hutton. 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY: ITS ORIGIN AND 

APPLICATION. 

One thing strikes you when you enter one of our courts, — the 
sight of judges, state employees like others, who think that they 
cannot fulfil their functions unless they are masked in a costume of 
the Middle Ages. The same spirit pervades their judgments. These 
are often evoked^from remote ages. Antiquity is more honored 
than the truth. The lawyer who can cite in behalf of his client a law 
of the twelve tables has a better chance to gain his case. Worse yet, 
the courts are often led astray by formulas that had some sense at the 
time of their origin, but have none now and simply turn justice from 
the true path. In Italy, for example, sentences are often annulled 
because the clerk had forgotten to preface them with the formula, " In 
the name of His Majesty, by the grace of God and the will of the 
people. King of Italy. " The law prescribes times for the accomplish- 
ment of certain formalities. Now justice is often • denied to poor 
wretches who are quite in the right, because they come a half an 
hour too late, or because they have made a mistake of a few moments 
in the execution of these formalities. 

What is the reason of all this? It is because of the tendency of 
the human mind to reduce to a minimum the number of mental asso- 
ciations required in a given task. The literal interpretation prevails 
in practice over all considerations of justice. Legal provisions can 
be only the rude and imperfect indication of the legislative will, use- 
ful only as a guide to the magistrate in attaining justice by a per- 
sonal mental effort. But they have taken the place of justice and 
right, and the magistrate has to apply them literally. To judge 
rightly he ought, in each case, to have resort to his own conscious- 
ness, to give free course to those associations of ideas and emotions 
of which the complexity is so great. He ought to compare the an- 
swer of his own consciousness with the customary interpretation of 
the law. If they do not agree he should examine the differences, 

analyze the provisions of the law, and, comparing the idea of the more 
3 



34 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 

frequent cases for which the law was made with the idea iDvolved in 
the specific case, modify the application as justice requires. 

But this is a long, complex, difficult task. If the comparison be 
not obvious enough, the judge becomes lost in doubt, and every new 
case requires a renewed eflEort. How much simpler it is to apply 
general provisions of law, drawing from them their logical inferences, 
not bothering with all the concomitant associations of ideas and emo- 
tions, but merely following a longer or shorter chain of reasoning. 
Once this habit of idio-emotional, or let us call it professional, judg- 
ment is formed the mind continues to consider only the logical 
relations of the general principle to the specific case. It excludes all 
collateral associations of ideas and feelings, numerous and varied as 
they are, which lead to a just solution of the actual question. The 
lofty and complex sentiment of justice is reducea to a sentiment of 
satisfaction in the logical application of the general principle. All 
notion of the wrong done to the victim, and the causes of that wrong, 
is excluded. In brief, the idio-emotional judgment results in the 
substitution of pure logic for observation and investigation of facts, 
a characteristic of the primitive periods of science and of periods of 
scientific degeneracy and decadence. 

The consequences of this heedlessness are enormous. The judges 
pronounce judgment as if the crime formed the simplest incident in 
the life of the criminal. The criminal, on the other hand, does all 
that he can to prove the contrary by the rarity of his repentance and 
his continual relapses, which often reach 80 per cent, with enor- 
mous peril and expense to society, and discredit to justice, — which 
is often only a futile fencing with the criminal for the sole benefit of 
some rhetorician. The trouble is still greater when the same penalty 
is administered to a man who kills and steals from cupidity, and to 
one who has been impelled to crime by a great and noble passion, — 
patriotism, for instance, or love. It is a long time — thirty years 
— since I began to think that to avoid these pitfalls the criminal and 
not the crime must be studied. How did I reach this conclusion? 
How did I succeed in establishing it? 

I. HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY. — ATAVISM OF THE CRIMINAL. 

I arrived in Paris in 1861, a very young clinical professor of men- 
tal disease, a boy, with my head full of philology and comparative 
physiology. I soon saw that the most serious lack in this science 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 35 

was that of aDatomical and anthropological knowledge. Thej were 
studying insanity in general without studying individual lunatics. 
I set to work. I insisted that we should study lunatics as we would 
a special variety of the human race, noting the skin, the form, the 
skull, and particularly the functions, sensibility, etc. My colleagues 
laughed at me and called me the " Doctor of the steelyard. " Little 
by little the idea prevailed, and now they seem almost to have forgot- 
ten who it was that introduced the new somatic school. I had a strong 
desire to study the morally insane who have since been shown to be 
the bom criminals. It was a principle of mine to deny everything 
which I did not see, and as there were none of these in our clinic I 
was inclined to deny their existence. Nevertheless, to make sure of 
the facts, I commenced to occupy myself with criminals, to frequent 
prisons, and carefully to gather skulls and brains of prisoners. One 
evening there died in one of the prisons of the city a celebrated brig- 
and, robber, and incendiary who had often escaped by means of his 
great agility. Upon the death of this man, who was a true type of 
the born criminal and morally insane, I examined his skull. It pre- 
sented an enormous median occipital fossa in place of the occipital 
median spine which occui's in the interior of the skull. This is a 
characteristic wanting in the superior apes and existing in all other 
vertebrates. I made the autopsy in the yard of the prison in the early 
hours of the morning. The day was very foggy, in the winter of 
1864. The weather and the place did not permit me to make a thor- 
ough autopsy, but I recollect how, at that moment, the whole idea 
of my future work rose before me like a picture. 

I instantly perceived that the criminal must be a survival of the 
primitive man and the carnivorous animals. The idea, though yet 
embryonic, was perfected a few days later, when I was called as an 
expert by the tribunal of Bergamo in the case of a sort of Jack the 
Ripper, — one Verzenti. This young peasant, with cross eyes and en- 
ormous jaws, was possessed with a desire to disembowel, chew, and 
eat morsels of women, young and old, who happened to cross his path. 
He afterward confided to me in secret the great erotic pleasure which 
he experienced in this. 

Then I went furiously to work in the examination of facts, in 
museums, in prisons, especially at Pesaro (when I was director of 
an insane asylum), near a great cellular prison where, with a 
corps of aides, I could go whenever I wished. Some of these took 
weights^ ptbefs measured the figures or sketched the faces of the 



36 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 

criminals. As for myself, I noted the more important character- 
istics, questioned the prisoners, treating them to cigars and wine, and 
applied to them all the modem methods. While the criminal had 
his hand in the plethjsmograph, which gave me in graphic lines all 
the psychic impressions and the reactions of the brain, I showed him 
things likely to interest him strongly, — a woman, a purse, a glass of 
wine, cigars, — and noted the effect of these impressions and especially 
the effect of electric currents. The result indicated a curious insen- 
sibility. To complete my studies I jSnally shut myself up for three 
years in the great cellular prison of Turin as a physician, until my 
health was undermined. 

It was there that I perceived that my earlier ideas fell short of 
the truth. I saw that the criminal was worse than the savage, worse 
sometimes than the true camivora, especially as regards analgesia. 
On one occasion I saw one of these criminals, who was working upon 
a roof several yards in height, fall to the ground and immediately re- 
turn to his work as if nothing had happened. On another occasion a 
woman refused, for many days, to allow herself to be cared for, until 
the odor warned us of the presence of gangrene. It had, in effect, 
eaten away four fingers from one hand, where she had been cut by her 
lover. The total of these facts thus gathered was enormous, so that 
the image of the criminal arose from them in perfect clearness. The 
anatomy of criminals showed a great number of completely atavistic 
changes : surcillary arch and frontal sinus enormous ; median occip- 
ital fossa; suture of the atlas; virile aspect of the skull in women; 
double articular face of the occipital condyle ; flattening of the palate ; 
large oblique orbits varying from 2 per cent to 58 per cent. 
These traits are often grouped in the same individuals, producing a 
type^ in the proportion of 43 per cent. The convolutions of the brain 
present frequent atavistic anomalies, such as the separation of the cal- 
careous fissure from the occipital, the formation of an operculum of 
the occipital lobe, and absolutely atypical variations, such as the trans- 
verse furrows of the frontal lobe. 

The study of 25,000 living beings confirmed, though less con- 
stantly, the frequency of the anomalies revealed by the anatomical 
table. It showed analogies between savages and delinquents in the 
proportion of 36 to 36 per cent. Among these anomalies were prog- 
nathism ; the hair black and crisp ; the beard thin ; oxicephaly ; oblique 
eyes; small skull; the jaw and the zygomes developed ; the forehead 
retreating obliquely from the eyes ; the ears large ; analogy between 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 37 

the two sexes ; a greater extension of all new characteristics added to 
the necroscopic characteristics which assimilate the European crim- 
inal to the Mongolian and Australian type. 

A photographic study of 5,000 criminals furnished a means of 
verifying and fixing the frequency of the criminal physiognomic 
type in the proportion of 26 per cent, with the maximum of 56 per 
cent for assassins, and a minimum of 6 to 8 per cent for bankrupts, 
swindlers, and bigamists. Photography showed how often the ethnic 
type is eflEaced among criminals, while they have with each other 
a veritable resemblance. It shows the frequency of feminine aspect 
among certain thieves and pederasts, and virility among many fe- 
male criminals, especially murderesses. A study of 800 free men 
showed that there may often be found among these the characteristics 
of degenerate physiognomy, but very rarely, almost never, combined 
in the same person, and frequently justified by latent criminality. It 
often happens that greater shrewdness, wealth, or political infiuence 
avert the action of the law and hide the criminal in men of great 
power, — Crispi, for example, or, in New York, the leaders of the 
Tammany ring. 

The anomalies appeared still stranger on studying the psychology 
and the biology of these unfortunates. Here the analogy with sav- 
ages was more striking, especially as to tattooing, which in certain 
criminals prevails to the extent of 25 per cent, among thieves 16 
per cent, among minor criminals 34 per cent, and which often serves, 
as among the savages, to indicate a sect or to boast of a crime. 
Tattooing is sometimes composed of true pictographic characters, as 
in the writing of the Indians reported in the publications of the 
Smithsonian Institution. Thus one man was tattooed with the fig- 
ure of a woman, winged and crowned. " I caused her to take flight, " 
he said, " for she fled with me, and by me she lost her virgin's 
crown." She had in her hands two bleeding hearts, denoting the 
parents who mourned her. Like savages, criminals display great in- 
sensibility to pain, which explains their longevity, their ability to 
bear wounds, their frequent suicide. As with savages also, their pas- 
sions are swift but violent, vengeance is considered as a duty, and they 
have a strong love for gambling, alcohol, and complete idleness. Thus 
the New Caledonians were accustomed to repeat, without knowing it, 
the remark of the murderer Lemair, " Better die than work. " In 
connection with this, I remember reading one day in a scientific 
review that among the Australian savages there were found more left- 



38 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPUCATION. 

handed persons than among Europeans. I immediately made obser- 
vations upon 600 criminals in Turin, and found the proportion of 
left-handed ones double that in the same number of journeyman 
printers. Again, having read that savages have greater visual acute- 
ness, I set to work with the oculists and found indeed that the 
acuteness of their vision was far greater than the normal, contrasting 
witht heir dulness of touch, hearing, and sense of color. At an- 
other time I read concerning a tribe of American Indians that their 
plays were almost like combats. Then I studied the games and 
amusements of young criminals in the reformatories, and I found that 
almost always these amusements involved wounds, even more often 
than among the savages. Thus, in one game, the object of a player 
was to save the head and hands from the wounds of two knives used 
by the others. 

However, these observations were not so original as I at first 
thought they were. The knowledge of a criminal physiognomic type, 
which at first appeared most novel, and was most generally denied by 
the savants, is often instinctive among the common people. There 
are often persons, especially among women, who are far from sus- 
pecting even the existence of criminal anthropology, and who yet, at 
the sight of those who bear criminal characteristics, instantly experi- 
ence a lively repulsion and know that they are in the presence of a 
malefactor. I was acquainted with one lady whose life was quite 
withdrawn from society, who on two occasions discovered the criminal 
character of certain young people, not before suspected, but after- 
ward detected by the police. How often we read in the reports of 
trials, of perfectly honest people, unfamiliar with the slightest an- 
thropological observations, who escape certain death from being warned 
in time by the sinister glance of the assassin, in which they read his 
criminal intention. It was in this way that the first letter-carrier 
who was to have been the victim of the murderer Francesconi had 
time to flee, haunted by that glance. At my request schoolmasters 
have shown to forty young girls twenty portraits of thieves and 
twenty of great men. Four-fifths of these children recognized the 
first as wretched creatures or as scoundrels, and the second as honest 
men. The universal although involuntary consciousness of the 
existence of a physiognomy peculiar to criminals has given birth to 
the epithets "a thief's face," "the look of an assassin," etc. The 
only way to explain the opposition to the fact is the reluctance of 
men to draw a general conclusion from individual observations. But 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 39 

how is this universal consciousness itself to be explained? In young 
girls there is certainly no knowledge acquired by experience. Then 
what is there? An intuitive sense, is it said? That is a vulgar 
explanation with which the public is contented because it has no 
meaning. 

I suspect that the phenomenon is hereditary. The impression 
left us by our fathers and transmitted to our children has become 
unconscious knowledge, like that of the little birds born and reared 
in our houses, who strike their wings and beaks in fright against 
their cages when they see pass above them birds of prey known only 
to their ancestors. Every day teaches us the importance of the un- 
conscious part in human actions, and what a role is played by ata- 
vism and heredity. Who of us can realize, when he bends the knees 
and joins the hands in prayer, that he is making an hereditary move- 
ment transmitted from those epochs of barbarism when war was the 
normal state? 

II. — EPILEPSY OF BORN CRIMINALS. 

My work was only at its beginning. In the earlier years, pos- 
sessed by the idea of the skull with its occipital fossa, I believed 
that the criminal was solely and simply an atavistic phenomenon. I 
was soon compelled to admit that there are in bom criminals, not in 
others, still stranger anomalies than are presented by savages, and 
with which atavism has nothing to do. These are: precocious 
wrinkles, irregular teeth, strabismus, synostosis, osteoma, hernia; 
meningitic, hepatic, and cardiac lesions. These show the criminal 
to be abnormal before birth, through the disease of various organs, 
especially the nervous centres. This again is confirmed by his- 
tologic observations, dilation of the cerebral lymphatic vessels, 
pigmentation of the nerve and connective cells, obtuseness of the 
senses. 

I must confess that in my studies I have never reached the solu- 
tion of my problems suddenly. Thus, in the study of the nature of 
^e pellagra^ or Italian leprosy, I reached a solution only by succes- 
sive stages and by accidents occurring in the path of my studies. 
This time, also, I was aided by an accident after much time lost in 
investigation. A soldier at Naples, one Misdea, assassinated with- 
out any plausible motive three or four of his companions. It was 
not noticed in any way, on this occasion, that he had an attack of 



40 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 

epilepsy. He showed great coolness in his murder and remembered 
it sufficiently well, though not quite correctly. The entire life of 
this man, who was descended from a line of degenerates, murderers, 
and epileptics, was a mass of crimes and diseases. One day he set 
out to kill his fiancee^ fell fainting in a church, and lay there all 
night, foaming at the mouth. He remembered nothing of it. He 
was a barber by trade. In his regiment he had been relieved of this 
duty on account of his disease. He was straightway seized with a 
boundless rage, tore his razors into bits with his teeth, and spit them 
out before his superior officers. In studying this curious criminal 
I divined instantly that the disease, which was confused with and 
obscured by the atavism of the crime, was epilepsy. 

In eflEect, in epilepsy there is found the same absence of moral 
sense, the same dulness of the physical senses, the same impulsive- 
ness as among criminals. This discovery, strange enough in appear- 
ance, is very simple in reality. We often hear the spontaneous re- 
mark that certain attacks of criminal rage are marked by " epileptic 
fury." The discovery was rejected with great unanimity, even by 
those who, like Tamburini and Morselli, had seen cases of psychic 
epilepsy without convulsion and without amnesia as is often seen in 
the case of criminals. As for me, I am used to this reception from 
savants and demi-savants. Indeed, I see in it the sign that I have 
struck a new and fruitful vein. For thirty years my colleagues ridi- 
culed me for maintaining that pellagra is a poisoning by spoiled 
maize; and during all those years I was known in Italy as the " pella- 
groseine crank." But there is one thing more trustworthy than 
academicians, — Time. After some years the proofs in this direction 
became very numerous. Left-handedness was found to be very fre- 
quent among epileptics, as well as insensibility to wounds. Dr. Ot- 
tolenghi discovered a characteristic peculiar to epileptics and born 
criminals alone, the interruption and contraction with scotoma of the 
periphery of the visual field. Bossi demonstrated that the propor- 
tion of epileptics among criminals was 40 per cent. Even the official 
statistics of the criminals showed the proportion to be six times more 
than normal. Krafft-Ebing, and Panata of Verona, found epilepsy in 
the case of many sexual psychopaths, which explains almost all the 
more curious crimes due to luxury. Literature, both the ancient and 
the most modem, agrees with these views. Shakespeare surmised epi- 
lepsy in the mind of Macbeth, who suflEered from hallucinations. 
Goncourt saw epilepsy in the murderer of the girl Eliza. Dostoi- 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 41 

eM^ski described all his criminals as epileptic in his " Crime et Chsiti- 
ment. " Zola, without knowing it, gave us a complete type of 
psychic epilepsy in the murderer of " La B6te Humaine. " I was 
able to found the first editions of my " Delinquent Man" on living 
documents, taking as a basis atavism and epilepsy. 

III. — NEW STUDIES: FERRI, GAROFALO, MARRO. 

By a strange coincidence, which may be called the maturing of 
an idea, a young man of Bologna, Ferri, about this time wrote a book 
in which he demonstrated that if there is no free will all the laws 
should be changed, for punishment has no influence upon the crim- 
inal. He continued in this direction, entered completely into my 
ideas, and showed that I had not taken sufficient account of the oc- 
casional criminal and the habitual criminal. Finally he applied him- 
self to the study of " Fifty Years of Criminality in France," supply- 
ing for me another of my defects — that of statistics, which has never 
been my forte. Later he gave in his " Criminal Sociology" all the 
sociological bases of our school. At the same time a young magis- 
trate of Naples, Garofalo, who acknowledged no standard of punish- 
ment but the defence of society, summed up his studies in the sen- 
tence, ** The more a man is to be feared, the more he should be 
confined." Shortly after, Marro, a laborious and learned alienist of 
minute exactness, contributed powerful support to my theories by 
studying with the patience of a Benedictine all the moral, physical, 
and psychical characteristics of five hundred criminals, divided, ac- 
cording to the crime, into thieves, swindlers, etc. , and compared them 
with two hundred normal persons of the same country and age. As 
a climax of exactness he prepared in twelve personal tables all the 
observations that he had made and provided for the verification of 
his conclusions. It will be seen that the little edifice, which was 
quite rudimental when I began to work alone, was beginning to be 
completed. Thanks to these critics I was able to add to the criminal 
bom the insane criminal (who is quite as formidable, and resembles him 
closely), themattoid (also known as the " crank"), and the criminaloid 
(a semi-criminal bom, who requires a great occasion to violate the 
laws), and the occasional criminal (who violates them when forced by 
circumstances) . But the gap was not yet entirely filled. One last and 
almost tragic accident revealed to me the criminal through passion. 
I was one day in a printing-office, correcting the proofs of my 



42 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 

** Delinquent Man'^ with the chief reader. I came to a page which 
spoke of a young man in the diplomatic service who, impelled by 
jealousy only too well justified (his ^nc& had almost shown him the 
price of her prostitution) , had stabbed her with a knife and after- 
ward stabbed himself. Sentenced to a light punishment, he had dis- 
appeared. The proof-reader was this man. Suddenly he threw him- 
self at my feet, declaring that he would commit suicide if I published 
this story with his name. His face, before very gentle, was com- 
pletely altered and almost terrifying, and I was really afraid that 
he would kill himself or me upon the spot. I tore up the proofs, and 
for several editions omitted his story ; but I had discovered the crim- 
inal through passion.* There is a class of men, young, honest, of 
gentle appearance, whose beauty of soul corresponds to their beauty 
of body, in no wise apathetic like born criminals, but of an exagger- 
ated aSectionateness. One of these young men, being in love and 
unable to talk with his lady-love, put his ear to a wall, transported 
with delight to hear her step. My proof-reader declared that he 
wished to bum his ears with red-hot iron when he heard his ^nc& 
uttering unclean things. All these men are capable of remorse and 
of repentance, and are impelled to crime by a strong and often just 
cause. They commit the crime in broad daylight, with whatever 
weapon is at hand, and never seek to prove an alibi. It is my opinion 
that many political criminals belong in this category, — Orsini, for 
example, Sand and Charlotte Corday. 

After this the work arose, it may be said, if not complete, cer- 
tainly vital and fecund. A large number of monographs appeared 
upon special crimes, which would not have been published before. 
Balestrini made a wonderful study of infanticide and abortion, and 
demonstrated that these crimes might almost be stricken from the 
code, — on the one hand because criminals through passion are incap- 
able of relapse, and on the other hand because, in the case of abor- 
tion especially, what is killed is not a man, but a being inferior in 
the zoological world. Margri at Pisa undertook a study of theft. 
Florian took up another on defamation, showing that what resembles 
defamation and is severely punished by the Italian law — which al- 
ways goes contrary to right — is a necessity of moral and political lib- 

' I may add that a few years later this man, who had married an extremely 
plain woman, and who had told me that at the slightest suspicion of his wife he 
would kill either her or himself, committed suicide without any kuown cause. 
I made a study of his skull and brain and found them of admirable beauty. 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 43 

erty ; that the liberty of criticism, even when it is offensive, should 
not be restricted, but favored in every possible way. Sighele studied 
collective crime. He showed, more amply than I had been able to 
do, that aggregations of human beings have a character quite op- 
posed to that of the units of which they are made up. Though the 
majority of the crowd may be good, the crowd itself may be con- 
verted into a cruel beast. The passions of each, when shared by a 
great number of individuals at once, become doubly intense, because 
the emotion of each is communicated from one to another, and 
the latent criminality of every individual breaks out through the cer- 
tainty of impunity or through the influence of some one not so hon- 
est. This is the basis of his **Foule Criminelle.*' In another 
work, " Le Crime & Deux," he demonstrated that persons associated 
for evil are more to be feared than any single criminal. Occasional 
criminals, or criminals through passion, never have accomplices. I, 
myself, with Laschi, constructed a complete penal system for political 
crimes, starting from misoneism. In nature the law of inertia prevails, 
and still more in the human race, which has a horror of the new. Every 
precipitate change which is not extorted by necessity is painful to it, 
and in politics is punished, for it goes against the opinions and senti- 
ments of the majority. If organic and moral progress does not take 
place slowly, through powerful attrition, provoked by exterior and 
interior circumstances, and if man and society are distinctly conser- 
vative, it must be concluded that those efforts in favor of progress 
which adopt means too abrupt and too violent are not physiological. 
They may sometimes be a necessity for an oppressed minority, but 
in llie eyes of the law they are anti-social and therefore a crime. 
Often it is a useless crime, for it awakens reaction in the misoneistic 
direction, which, since it is solidly based on human nature, has great 
force. All progress, to be accepted, must be slow, otherwise it is 
futile and mischievous. Those who wish to impose a political inno- 
vation upon society, without tradition, without necessity, offend 
misoneism and arouse that reaction in the public mind which comes 
from a dread of the new, and invite the application of the penal 
laws. Here appears the distinction between revolutions and revolts 
or seditions. The former are slow, long -prepared, necessary, or at 
most hastened a little by some neurotic or passional spirit. The 
latter may be an artificial and precipitate incubation, at an exagger- 
ated temperature, of embryos doomed to certain death. These latter 
are for the most part the work of mattoids (semi -lunatics) , lunatics, and 



44 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 

born criminals 'who have a strong tendency to innovation. The for- 
mer prevail more among the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon races in cold 
or temperate climates (Luther, Cromwell) ; the latter ai*e more often 
found in Latin, Catholic, and warm countries. 

Mr. Henry Fern made a brilliant beginning with the biological, 
psychical, psycho-pathological study of homicide in his " Criminels, 
avec Atlas." Under natural conditions of primitive humanity 
homicide bore, in many respects, a great part, and Mr. Ferri notes 
with great perspicacity a double process of evolution, toward di- 
minishing ferocity and moral sentiment, and toward judicial institu- 
tions. Homicide, therefore, in the form of sanguinary vengeance, is 
the embryo of all social rights of repression. He infers that murder 
is not the product of an abstract voluntary fiat, but that it has its 
roots deep in the animal organism ; that it is the natural effect of 
physio-pathological, physical, and social causes. He gives us the 
evidence in insensibility, which is the key of innate criminality; in 
the indifference, and sometimes the pleasure, taken in the sufferings 
of others; the cool ferocity of crime; the apathetic impassibility as to 
the crime itself and its penalties, — evident proof that this psychic an- 
algesia is founded upon physical anaesthesia. He shows the futility 
of motive, the disdain of human life which is a characteristic of sav- 
ages, and finally the behavior of bom homicides, cynical and vain 
during their trial, and very different afterward. Ferri reports nu- 
merous original observations which show that, contrary to the gen- 
eral belief, many homicides confess their crimes, and do so much more 
frequently than thieves or pickpockets. Quite novel, and capable of 
a still greater development, is his study upon moral daltonism, by 
which, in certain criminals, there exists a strong aversion for certain 
crimes and for the causes and reasons for committing them. More- 
over, despite these abnormal conditions of their general senses, crim- 
inals also possess sentiments common to other men, but differently 
developed, lacking the guide and check of the moral sense. For in- 
stance, the religious sentiment, which is very frequent among homi- 
cides, has nothing to do with the genesis of the crime, because it 
represents rather a moral sanction than a true and proper moral sense. 
The most extraordinary part of this work is the atlas. The figures of 
arid criminal anthropometry are handled with striking certainty. 
Accounts are given of 695 investigations of great variety and inter- 
est. It is the geography not only of homicide, but of all crimes in 
all the countries of Europe. 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 45 

Madame Tarnowski, in her studies of the filles de joiey thieves, 
and village M^omen, demonstrated that the cranial capacity of prosti- 
tutes is inferior to that of the female thieves and the villagers, and 
still more to that of women of good society. Vice versa the zygo- 
matic process and the mandibles were more developed among the 
former, who also showed a greater number of anomalies, — 87 per cent ; 
while the thieves had 79 per cent, and the villagers only 12 per 
cent. According to the author, what distinguishes the thieves from 
the prostitutes is their utter repugnance to giving any information 
as to their sexual relations, and the silence that falls upon them when 
the question is raised as to the causes of their confinement. They 
deny their offence and will not yield even to proof. The hereditary 
defects of thieves are less marked than those of prostitutes. The 
latter have, for example, among their ancestry, 82 per cent of ine- 
briate relatives and 44 per cent of consumptives, while the thieves 
have only 49 per cent and 19 per cent respectively. Thus the 
thieves possess fewer signs of physical degeneration. Moreover the 
number of births among them exceeds that of the other class as 256 
to 64, a circumstance approaching the normal. 

Kurella and Fraenkel in Germany, Havelock Ellis and Morrison 
in England, extended the horizons of these studies by their own 
works and by translations from the Italian. A large number of re- 
views, entirely special, appeared on every side. " L* Archivio di 
Antropologia Criminale" is already in its eighteenth year. Kowa- 
lewski and Mucewski have two in Bussia, Lacassagne one in France, 
Kurella one in Germany. There sprang also into existence a pub- 
lishing house devoted exclusively to books on criminal anthropology 
in Italy, which has already issued more than sixty works in three 
series. A similar one was established in Germany under the direc- 
tion of Kurella, and another by Morrison in England, which unfortu- 
nately commenced with the poorest of my works, making it still 
poorer by the crudest mutilations. 

IV. — PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS. 

It is easy enough to see the practical application of these theories. 
The criminal code has been conceived through the study of crime as 
an abstraction. It must be modified by knowledge of the criminal. 
There should be in it no dream of theological expiations, which man 
has no right to impose, but it should aim solely at the defence of 



46 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 

society. The greatest criminal anomaly — even insanity — should not 
be considered as an extenuating circumstance. Even lunatics should 
be arrested in order to protect society, especially the morally insane, 
who are a great peril, and the masked epileptics. In the punish- 
ment of crime the tendency of its authors should be considered. If 
the author is bom criminal, he must be confined for life, though the 
crime itself is not great. On the other hand, a crime committed by 
an honest man impelled by some strong motive should be punished 
with much indulgence, especially political and religious crimes, which 
often only anticipate by some centuries the thought of the people. 
In our time, when hours are years and years are centuries, a political 
idea which appears to be dangerous and even criminal through its 
excessive novelty, after some time may appear practical and just. 
Such, for instance, were the ideas of Christ and of Luther, and at the 
present time the ideas of the equality of all classes and of the parti- 
cipation of workmen in profits. There was a time when it would 
have been a crime to maintain these ideas. Now they pertain to a 
possible reform. Then it must be understood that for these crimes 
there should be no in-evocable penalty, like death. The penalty 
should be revocable when the novelty has passed away and the idea 
is no longer criminal. 

Vice versa^ the hand of the law must fall heavily upon the reci- 
divists, putting aside all sentimentality, especially if they have ac- 
complices. And the complicity must not be judged arithmetically, 
for whether there are four or ten they are equally dangerous. It is 
merely preferring formulas to facts to exempt an association with less 
than six members, as is done in Italy, and to ignore the perils of any 
criminal association. A man who is not contented to steal himself, 
but enlists others, is more dangerous, and must be treated without 
pity. Justice cannot be an emanation from the Eternal Father 
repressing sin and disregarding interests. It especially should 
undertake to compensate the victims of crime at the expense of 
the criminal, making him work in order to pay the indemnity if 
he is not rich. It is a blunder also, when society has lost through 
the crime, to compel it to lose still more for the support of the 
criminal. 

All efforts at reform should be concentrated upon occasional 
criminals. They are the only ones for whom much can be done. 
They should be removed from all opportunity by procuring them 
employment and protecting them from the mischievous influence of 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 47 

alcohol, not only by prohibitory laws and fines, which are generally 
a dead letter, but by giving them mental amusement, which will sat- 
isfy that cerebral excitement that is gratified by alcohol. Above all, 
the tendency to crime which appears in infancy must not be allowed 
to continue in youth and become habitual. All this has received no 
application in Italy. I was fairly startled when The Forum re- 
quested from me an account of the applications made in Italy of my 
ideas. What can one expect from a race of advocates and rhetori- 
cians? When there is a great evil to correct we are contented to 
make laws, and speeches which have quite as much force. The 
speeches vanish, and the laws with them, producing no effect. But 
people get along contentedly because their apathetic quiet is not dis- 
turbed. In their hatred of the new they prefer suflEering to change. 
It is true that a new criminal code has been made in our country 
since my school sprang up, but it is wholly opposed to my ideas. 
The penalties in the case of relapses have been almost suppressed with 
great applause in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. These 
great legislators take no account of the foes of free will or of classic 
law. Nevertheless the manicome (guardian of the insane) is neces- 
sary for criminals despite the law, and three establishments have 
been founded in Italy. The penalty of death, which is a sovereign 
remedy for us, has been abolished, though murderers continue and 
even multiply their oflEences. 

No provision for judicial anthropometry has been established. 
An Italian, one of my dearest disciples, Anfasso, has invented an 
instrument, the tachianthropometer, which rapidly and automatically 
takes all the measures of the body (I call it, half in jest, the " an- 
thropometric guillotine"), but after much negotiation the government 
did not accept it. The only countries where anything has really 
been done in the direction of my school are North America, Eng- 
land, and Switzerland. We must admit that there is a tendency to 
crime at a very early age. Children are liars, thieves, etc. This 
tendency in well-born children disappears with a good education, 
when they are removed from bad examples and evil incitements, but 
in the criminal bom it is continued in spite of everything. Every 
effort that we can suggest to combat crime should be concentrated, 
not upon the criminal bom, but upon the occasional criminal, to pre- 
vent him from wandering from the right path. This class forms about 
75 per cent according to our calculations. Now, almost unconsciously, 
by that intuition which comes from practical vice joined to religious 



48 CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPLICATION. 

fanaticism unspoiled by formulas and by the bonds of Catholicism, 
London and Geneva have found the means to prevent the child not 
criminal born from being driven to evil through the abandonment of 
his parents or the want of work or of nourishment, so that he does 
not become an occasional criminal and afterward an habitual one. 
In this work the ragged schools, etc. , Dr. Bamardo^s missions, and the 
enterprises of the Salvation Army are engaged. While in England 
millions of rescued children are reported, in Italy there are only 12,- 
000; and these are not really rescued, for the houses of correction and 
reformatories are in reality universities of crime. In the United 
States, especially in Boston and New York, great efforts have been 
made in this direction. In all these countries — in America, England, 
Norway, and Switzerland — an effort has been made to restrict alcoholic 
poison, which may transform the honest adult into the criminal. 
Unfortunately, in some countries, continual immigration composed al- 
ways of adventurous men, together with the mixture of blood, black 
and yellow, having no common moral sense, and the evil influence of 
professional politicians, prevent results as important as at London 
and Geneva. But the United States alone can boast of having con- 
scientiously applied scientific knowledge of criminal anthropology to 
criminal therapeutics, for at Washington there has been founded the 
first bureau for degenerates and abnormal people. The worthy founder 
of the Elmira Reformatory, with the frankness which is no longer 
found among our old races, has declared that his whole system of 
education is based upon the knowledge given by our school as to the 
criminal, and especially as to his psychology. To give new strength 
to good tendencies; to make of mischievous tendencies — vanity for 
instance — the stimulus toward the right way; to engraft the taste for 
work ; to avail one's self of the natural desire of the prisoner to shorten 
his penalty ; to remove from all adult occasional criminals the oppor- 
tunity for relapse, — that is, according to our school, the greatest pos- 
sible effort for the cure of crime: and I believe that these efforts 
would be crowned with still greater success if masses of individuals 
had not been brought together in the same place, and if the adults 
had not been employed to care for the young; if, following the ex- 
ample of Bamardo, instead of making the prisoners servants or work- 
men, they had been made good farmers. Nevertheless, when I com- 
pare these establishments with those which I see in Italy and in France, 
where there is only the appearance of work, with a varnish of big- 
otry, I am happy and proud. If the new ideas sprung from our old 



CRIMINAL ANTHROPOLOGY : ITS ORIGIN AND APPUCATION. 49 

European soil must perish there for ^ant of people who understand 
them, they will find in the new world fervent supporters, able to 
perpetuate and apply them. As the inspiring fruit of the vine, which 
was the first joy and the first sin of the ancient world, is now com- 
mencing to be returned t6 us from the new world modified and im- 
proved, so the true political liberty, a Utopian dream in our ancient 
continent, has already taken deep and sure root in North America, 
whence the great thinkers of Europe may draw new force for work, 
and whither they may direct their last glance, finding consolation for 
a life misunderstood and disdained. 

C. LOMBBOSO. 



Beaders desiring to investigate this subject further may consult 
with advantage the following books and articles : Lombroso, " Delin- 
quent Man" ; Lombroso and Ferrero, " The Female Offender, " New 
York (D. Appleton & Co.); Havelock Ellis, "Men and Women," 
New York (Charles Scribner's Sons) ; Z. R. Brockway, " The State 
and the Criminal," The Fobum, November, 1886; W. M. F. 
Round, " Criminals and the Victims of Heredity, " The Fobum, 
September, 1893; Henry C. Lea, "The Increase of Crime and 
Positivist Criminology," The Fobum, August, 1894; Ferri, "La 
Sociologie Criminelle," author*s translation from the 3d Italian 
edition, 1 vol., Paris, 1893 (Rousseau) ; Qarofalo, " La Criminologie, " 
3d ed., 1 vol., Paris, 1892 (Alcan); Tarde, "La Criminality Com- 
par6e," 2ded., 1 vol., Paris, 1890 (Alcan); Falkner, "Prison Sta- 
tistics of the United States," Philadelphia, 1889; Morrison, " Crime 
and its Causes," 1 vol., London, 1891 (Swan, Sonnenschein & 
Co.) ; Kobner, " Die Methode einer wissenschaftlichen Riickfall- 
statistik," 1 vol., Berlin, 1893; Von Oettingen, "Die Moralstatistik 
in ihrer Bedeutung fiir eine Socialethik, " 3d ed., 1 vol., Erlangen 
(Deichert). 
4 



SHALL CUBA BE FEEE? 

On October 28, 1482, • Columbus discovered Cuba. His son 
Diego, in 1511, fitted out an expedition consisting of 300 men, and 
despatched it under command of Diego Velasquez to take possession 
of the island and begin its colonization. According to all early 
'writers, the Siboney Indians, who possessed this noblest of the An- 
tilles, were amiable, innocent, hospitable, and graceful. Velasquez 
lost no time in despoiling them of their possessions, trampling on 
their natural rights, and butchering those who resented his brutal 
domination. The Chief Hatuei, who saw his people so cruelly en- 
slaved, struck back, and Velasquez burned him at the stake. Be- 
tween the savage conceptions of immortality which Columbus de- 
clares these gentle savages to have possessed, and the new doctrines 
of salvation which Spanish conquerors never failed to confide to 
those whom they were about to roast, Hatuei must have experienced 
a certain confusion of ideas; but his primitive soul so revolted at the 
cruelty of his tormentors that he said : " If there are Spaniards in 
heaven, I prefer to go to hell. " For about four hundred years Spain 
has owned Cuba, and she has governed it, with certain honorable ex- 
ceptions, on the lines of oppression and exhaustion laid down by 
Diego Velasquez. 

Slaughter and deportation for the slave markets of Spain, within 
fifty years so reduced the Indian population — variously estimated 
from 500,000 to 1,000,000 — that importation of African slaves was 
authorized, and thereafter continued, either openly or clandestinely, 
until within forty years of the present date. Coarse greed under- 
lay the enslaving of both Indians and Africans, and the oppres- 
sion born of that greed, and practised on peoples whom it was safe to 
maltreat, became so ingrained in the class that governed Cuba, that 
to-day in this late year of our Lord, after the last Siboney sleeps in 
his grave, and Spain has been forced to abolish her African slavery, 
she must needs hold over her own flesh and blood in Cuba the same 
old iron rod of oppression. So exasperating is that rod, so cruel its 
strokes, that Cuba is again in the throes of a bloody insurrection. 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 61 

Hatuei in 1511 preferred hell to a heaven with Spaniards. The 
Cubans of 1895 had rather die the death of battle than live under 
Spanish rule. I propose briefly to explain how it is that a people 
living in Paradise, with every gift of nature to ensure human content 
and cherish social joy, have been stung and tormented into flinging 
their lives into the vortex of war, with scarcely more than a heroic 
courage to oppase to the fearful odds against them. Most great 
wrongs have their tap-roots deep in the past. To trace these roots 
^from their origin upwards into the bitter fruitage of Cuba will re- 
quire a patience which I am forced to ask of the reader. 

Somewhat after the middle of the sixteenth century the adminis- 
tration of Cuba, previously under colonizing chiefs, was formally 
handed over to the military arm in the person of a Captain-General, 
to whom was given despotic power; and it so continued until within 
very recent years, when the office has been changed in title to Gov- 
ernor-General : but as he is always a general of the Spanish army, 
and commander-in-chief of all the Spanish forces in Cuba, in one or 
the other of his capacities he still wields the same old absolute power. 

Until the first decade of the present century Cuba shared the 
varying fate of the other members of the Spanish empire: according 
to the personal characters of the sovereigns, viceroys, and captains- 
general, she was governed well or ill as it happened. But she was 
part and parcel of the commonweal of Spain, not a province singled 
out to be held down beneath the military heel, and plundered at will, 
as she now is. Early Spanish laws and ordinances had formally an- 
nounced that the Indias were to be governed under the same prin- 
ciples as Leon and Castile. Ordenanza 14, of the Council of Philip 
II. , and 13 of Philip IV. , I translate literally as follows : ^ 

" Because the kingdoms of Castile and of the Lidias belong to one crown, 
the laws and mode of government of both should be the most similar and con- 
sistent that is possible. Those of our Council, in the laws and ordinances 
which they institute for these states, seek to accommodate their form and 
maimer of government to the custom and order into which the kingdoms of 
Leon and Castile are ruled and governed, so far as the diversity and difference 
of countries and nations permit. " 

But this unity, of course, was always under the sway of the absolut- 
ism of the Spanish monarchy, and that absolutism embodied in cap- 
tains-general had reduced Cuba to insolvency and bitterness so long 
ago as the middle of the last century. In this despair the liberal 
spirits of Cuba, like those of Spain, clung to a single hope, — that of 
escape from personal tyranny into modem constitutional freedom. 



53 SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 

The seeds of chartered liberty that had matured in such definite and 
even modem shape in the days of the mediaDval Aragonian kings 
had never really died, but retained their power of vital germina- 
tion during all the dreary decline of Spanish greatness, through the 
whole Hapsburg dynasty and earlier Bourbon reigns. But it was 
not until Napoleon overran Spain, and the last relics of national inde- 
pendence under the Junta Central had gathered in convention in 
Cadiz, that those seeds bore living fruit. There in 1812 the Span- 
ish Constitution was formed and adopted. That instrument, drawn 
closely after the lines of the Constituent Assembly of France, in 
terms extended its jurisdiction to the " Indias, " including, of course, 
Cuba. It embodied the broad ideas of Charles and Philip as to 
Spanish unity, and even went so far as to make formal declaration 
that ^ the Spanish nation is the reunion of the Spaniards of both 
hemispheres. " Article after article prescribed the steps to be taken 
by the people of Ultramar (under which designation were included 
the Americas) to avail themselves of their new rights. Article 10 
declared the whole of Spanish America, including the Antilles, to 
be an integral part of Spanish territory. Article 30, in providing 
for the basis of representation for the Ultramarine provinces, gave 
one deputy for each 60,000 people. Articles 37, 61, 80, and 101 
prescribed the mode and conditions for the election of these Ultramar 
deputies. Article 107 established a "permanent deputation'* of the 
Cortes, a sort of executive committee, to be chosen from its own 
members and to consist of seven persons, three from the European 
Spanish provinces and three from Ultramar; the seventh, and presid- 
ing oflScer, to be the President of the Council of the Indias. Finally, 
Article 232 required that of the Council of State, to be composed of 
forty individuals, not less than twelve should be natives of the prov- 
inces of Ultramar. Thus this Constitution stretched its arm over 
Cuba, and would, if honestly administered, have lifted the island into 
brilliant prosperity and content; but, in 1814, before the new ma- 
chinery could be started, that false and brutish Bourbon, Ferdinand 
VII. , recovered the family throne, tossed the Constitution into his 
waste-basket, and took a plunge back as far toward the dark ages as 
was possible in a world that had just witnessed the French Revolu- 
tion. Cuba, with the rest, sank into the old routine of personal 
rule, and went on in sadness and decline under the captains-general. 
The subsequent story of Ferdinand's cowardice only matches that of 
his folly. In doing away with the Constitution he had meant to 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 53 

throw liberty with it, but sturdy Cadiz, within whose walls the Con- 
stitution bad been drawn, arose in 1820 and scared the poor king into 
a new acceptance. But, alas I backed by a hundred thousand French 
bayonets and the moral support of the Holy Alliance in 1823, Fer- 
dinand felt himself master again, and tore up the instrument which 
stood between free Spain and Bourbonism. 

In 1836, Ferdinand haying died, the Constitution was again 
made the living basis of Spanish government ; this time accepted by 
Christina, then regent for her daughter Isabella. In these vicissitudes 
of the thrice-adopted document, Caba had a critical interest. The 
hearts of her people fell and rose, as the barometer sags and surges 
up again when a hurricane tears across the island. After the final 
acceptance of the Constitution, and before the organization of the 
Cortes, which occurred on October 24, 1836, intrigue and agitation 
b^an over the status to be arranged for Ultramar. Tyranny and 
exactions had lately led to the revolts of Chili, Peru, Mexico, and 
the other Continental provinces; they had already successfully 
thrown oB. the yoke, and were in that strange state of liberty and 
chaos which is familiar to the world. Spain, always callous to the 
sufferings of her provinces, regarded their loss purely from the point 
of view of revenue. The torrent of money that since the Conquest 
had poured like a great golden gulf-stream across the Atlantic, 
bathing Spain in a climate of wealth, now shrank to a feeble flow, 
and she felt the chill. 

Although Cuba, by refusing to follow the example of the Conti- 
nental American provinces, had gained the title of "ever faithful,^ 
Spain knew well enough that her oppressions might wear out even 
the patience of an unqualified loyalty, and she found herself con- 
fronted with the problem of how she could forever keep for her own 
the revenue which in time must flow from so rich a country as Cuba. 
Under the liberty of her Constitution, impartially extended to 
Cuba, she saw a vision of growing resources and of uprising power, 
but towering above all stood the distinct spectre of Independence. 
She had political sagacity enough to know that liberty for Cuba 
meant power and autonomy, and autonomy the loss of that as yet 
far o£E but inevitably coming wealth. To be just and impartial 
involved for Spain the moral energy of a new departure and the 
ultimate loss of Cuba. The reign of oppression and plunder was in 
full force, and if let alone would go on with all the-momentum al- 
ready given to it by centuries of cupidity. 



54 SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 

The instrument of her greed in Cuba was just then General 
Tacon, a soldier of violence and ignorance, who came to the captain- 
general cj embittered from a failure to encompass Spanish ends in 
South America. Tacon was a true type of the Spanish oppressor, 
bom with a contempt for all other than force, and hardened by the 
omnipotence of his Spanish commission. The following royal order, 
addressed to a predecessor, conveys an idea of the powers of the cap- 
tain*generalcy to which Tacon succeeded when he arrived in Cuba. 
This is not the credential of a Persian satrap under Cambyses, nor 
of a Boman pro-consul under Caligula, but is an ordinary commission 
in the nineteenth century to the Cuban captain -general, issued by 
his Catholic Majesty Ferdinand VII. It reads as follows: — 

" His Majesty, the King, our Lord, desiring to obviate the inconvenlenoes 
which might result in extraordinary cases from a division of command, and 
from the interference of powers and prerogatives of the respective ofSoeni ; for 
the important end of preserving in that precious island [Cuba] his legitimate 
sovereign authority and public tranquillity through proper means, — has resolved, 
in accordance with the opinion of his Ck>uncil of Ministers, to give to your Ex- 
cellency the fullest authority, bestowing upon you all the powers which by the 
royal ordinances are granted to the governors of besieged cities. Li consequence 
of this His Majesty gives to your Excellency the most complete and unbounded 
power, not only to send away from the island any persons in ofSce, whatever be 
their occupation, rank, class, or condition, whose continuance therein your Ex- 
cellency may deem injurious, or whose conduct, public or private, may alarm 
you, replacing them with persons faithful to His Majesty, and deserving of all 
the confidence of your Excellency ; but also to suspend the execution of any order 
whatsoever, or any general provision made concerning any branch of the admin- 
istration, as your Excellency may think most suitable to the royal service.* 
(Royal decree, March 28, 1825.) 

Under precisely similar faculties Tacon was governing in Cuba 
when constitutional light dawned over Spain. Like all despots, 
he was quick to catch the meaning of a new portent, and flung him- 
self hotly into the struggle to prevent the extension of the new Con- 
stitution to Cuba. On the 27th of September, 1836, the barkentine 
" Guadalupe" brought to Santiago do Cuba news of the promulgation 
in Spain of the Constitution ; and the Liberals under General Lorenzo, 
the military governor of the province, thinking the millennium had 
come, gathered all Santiagan authorities and proclaimed it for Cuba. 
Tacon instantly stamped his heel on Santiago, ordering that " in that 
province not the slightest change in the order of things should be 
made, unless preceded by his express and jSnal order as Captain- 
General of the island. " 

When, on the 24:th of October of the same year, the Cortes organ- 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 55 

ized for the first time in Madrid, it immediately appeared that a 
struggle was inevitable over the Antilles. In January there arrived 
in Madrid three deputies, elected, in spite of Tacon's order, from 
Santiago. They presented their credentials with a forcible memorial, 
but were met with silence and delay. Meanwhile enemies of Cuba 
within the Cortes secured in secret session the appointment of a com- 
mittee which in the month of February, 1837, presented a report 
recommending in substance that (I translate the essential words) 
" the Spanish provinces of America and Asia be hereafter ruled and 
administered by special laws, and that their deputies'are not to take 
seats in the present Cortes. " This Informe became the subject of 
a memorable debate, which lasted from the 7th of March until April 
16. There was abundant time for the full expression of opinion, for 
reason and consideration ; the action of the body was therefore as 
deliberate as it was final. When the parliamentary division was 
taken, there were 155 deputies present; hut only two voted for the exten- 
sion of tJie privileges of the Constitution to Ultramar, Reports of this de- 
bate show that the two reasons which determined the action of the 
Cortes were a resolution to wring revenue out of Cuba and to guard 
against her achieving independence. This action of the Cortes found 
official expression two days later in the promulgation of the following 
law, which I translate: — 

*'Tlie Ck)rte8, using the power which is conceded to them by the Ck)D8titu- 
tion, have decreed : not being in position to apply the Constitution which has 
been adopted for the Peninsula and adjacent island to the Ultramarine prov- 
inces of America and Asia, these shall be ruled and administered by special 
laws appropriate to their respective situations and circumstances, and proper to 
cause their happiness ; consequently, the deputies for the designated provinces 
are not to take their seats in the present Cortes. " 

Thus Spain disinherited Cuba and withheld her birthright. Thus she 
crushed her noblest hopes, and broke the heart of her fairest province. 
This was the moment when Cuban loyalty turned into hate. 

While this act of disinheritance turned the great body of liberal- 
minded Cubans forever against Spain, there has always remained a 
conservative party of natives who realized that genuine reforms of 
policy and administration might secure the condition of " happiness," 
to which the law of 1837 ironically alluded, without severing the link 
with the mother country. The hope and aim of this deluded group 
has been to secure representation in the Cortes, where, although in 
powerless minority, they might carry on a campaign of education which 
should finally persuade Spain to see the mutual advantage of a qual- 



56 SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 

ified autonomy. Madrid remained deaf to forty years of this sort of 
pleading. However, in 1878, Martinez Campos negotiated a peace 
with the unconquered and apparently unconquerable Cuban insur- 
gents who had fought heroically for ten years, which peace was paid 
for in promises. 

Slavery had been practically killed by the war; Campos only 
bound Spain to publish the death notice. The main concession for 
which the insurgents accepted peace was the promise of constitutional 
reform. As a matter of fact, there promptly followed four royal 
decrees as follows : June 9, entitling Cuba to elect deputies to the 
Cortes, one for each 40,000 people; June 9, dividing the island into 
the present six provinces ; June 21, instituting a system of provin- 
cial and municipal government, followed on August 16 by the neces- 
sary electoral regulations. But the system was immediately seen to 
be the shadow without the substance of self-government. The Pro- 
vincial Assembly could nominate only three candidates for presid- 
ing officer. It was the inevitable governor-general who had the 
power to appoint, not necessarily one of the three nominees, but any 
member of the Assembly he chose. But all this provincial machin- 
ery is in reality an empty form, since expressly by law the governor- 
general was given the power to prorogue the assemblies at will. The 
deputies have never been able to accomplish anything in the Cortes. 
Moreover, the crux of the whole financial oppression — ^the tariff, 
taxes, and absolute control and expenditure of the revenue — re- 
mained with Spain. Her cynical apathy was momentarily jarred by 
the ten years' war, and under fear she yielded so far as to grant re- 
forms which reformed nothing, privileges, which carried no benefit, 
nominal changes which in no essential particular disturbed the abso- 
lutely despotic power of the Spanish pro-consul. A century of hope 
and of struggle ended without progress. Cubans are under no illu- 
sions ; they know that they are exactly where they have been from 
the beginning, — under the heel of military force, — 

** Plus Qa change plus c' est la mdme chose 1* .>; 

y 

The result, from an economical point of view, has been the con- 
tinued enforcement of a financial system frankly contrived to enrich 
Spain at the expense of Cuba, but practically extinguishing the 
healthy industrial progress of the island. That system comprises: 
1. A tariflE, which by difEerential duties forces Cuba to buy to 
Spanish advantage and her own disadvantage, and sell (with an export 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 57 

duty for Spain's benefit) where she can. 2. A scheme of internal 
taxation laid in crushing weight on every phase of industrial life. 
3. A complete system of control and espionage over the details of busi- 
ness, with countless fees and explanations. The body of oiBcers who 
execute this universal system of great and petty interference are too 
generally blackmailers who adroitly temper their exactions to the little 
wool left on the oft-shorn lamb. 4. The distribution and expenditure 
of practically the total collected revenues remains with Spain. 

The general result of this policy, besides embittering the Cubans, 
has been to strain and drain every industry, and by idiotic adminis- 
trative meddling to discourage new projects and embarrass old ones. 

With the exception of a few modem sugar estates, largely of for- 
eign ownership, and some almost comic railways, Cuban industry is 
back in the period of the Boman empire. The island has long ceased 
to pay a legal, above-board profit to Spain, but yearly piles up a 
mountain of deficit. To merchants in Spain, from whom Cuba is by 
the tariff forced to buy, there is profit; to the Spanish tradesman in 
Cuba there is fortune; to the army of blackmailers there is wealth. 
All profit and all advantage go to Spain. Cuba only suffers and 
grows poor. She has, moreover, the bitterness of seeing that the 
host of almost hostile Spaniards in the island, both official and com- 
mercial, are there only to despoil her. She sees her revenues im- 
posed and spent by Spain, and the private gains of the army of aliens 
carried off when greed is glutted. 

Nowhere within the limits of western civilization is there a more 
favorable spot for the swift, almost boundless, development of vast 
popular wealth. Bich beyond description, beautiful as Eden, Cuba, 
with only a tenth of its area occupied, and its resources as yet hardly 
touched, lies bankrupt under the coarse heel of a despot too blind to 
see even his own advantage. 

Half a century ago, by a liberal fiscal policy and decently good 
administration, even denying constitutional rights and by means 
of her " special laws, " Spain with supreme ease could have placed 
Cuba in opulence and turned the old golden gulf -stream again toward 
her shores. But with that towering vanity which has replaced her 
just national pride, she scoffed at the appeals of Cuba, and went on 
in that career of conceited folly which has reduced her from the lofti- 
est position in modem European history to the pitiable insignifi- 
cance of to-day, and left for Cuba only ruin and rage. It is now too 
late. Spain can never win back the heart of Cuba. She can never 



58 8HATiTi CUBA BE FREE? 

again make a lasting peace. It is war till Cubans are free or dead. 
Flung from the continent of America for her intolerable oppression, 
Spain lags in this hemisphere as the mere embodiment of tyrannical 
greed. From a historic distance there is a kind of picturesque Bo- 
man grandeur in her armed and bannered conquerors, trampling down 
barbarians and putting them to the sword and cross ; but no haze of 
time or distance will ever soften the miserable spectacle of her last 
days in Cuba, oppressing and blackmailing her fairest daughter. 

The dilemma forced upon Spain in 1836 was this: on the one 
hand constitutional liberty for Cuba, with a future of greatness and 
prosperity, but with inevitable final independence; on the other, a 
continuance of the old military and financial despotism which had al- 
ways meant sacrificing real industrial progress for to-day's plunder, 
and a future of insurrections with probable independence at the end. 
Although Spain apparently never saw it, both roads lead to indepen- 
dence. We have seen how she chose the latter course, and its logi- 
cal result of bankruptcy and rebellion. Prior to the present insur- 
rection four others have occurred in this century. The conspiracy 
of the Black Eagle in 1829, the Lopez conspiracy in 1848-51, the 
Pinto conspiracy in 1855, and the bitter ten years' war, 1868-78. 

Having seen how her financial short-sightedness has brought about 
ruin, it is worth while to advert now to the manner in which Spain, 
in maintaining her military government, has treated the persons and 
personal rights of Cubans. For example: the alleged slave con- 
spiracy of 1844 was met by the immediate placing of a court-martial 
at Matanzas, the scene of the trouble. No incriminating evidence 
was obtainable under ordinary examination, so the court went back 
to the fine old methods of the Inquisition, and followed the example 
of Torqueraada. Slaves, colored freedmen, and whites, were stretched 
face down on ladders, and their naked backs lashed till they satisfied 
their torturers. Asa result 1,846 people were sentenced, some to 
death, others to banishment, others to hard labor for various periods. 
Any Cuban patriot may find himself under a tacit ban. Let us sup- 
pose that he is a suspected person: he is watched, and if suspicion 
rises to a sufficient degree of certainty he is arrested ; and now comes 
one of the neatest and most effective methods of disposing of a sus- 
pect among the extraordinary wealth of expedients known to Spanish 
military law. Evidence being slight, the prisoner may be ordered 
removed under guard to some other place of safe-keeping, and is liable 
to be shot by his soldier guard if he attempts to escape. So com- 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 59 

mon has this been that a wiok of his superior to the guard is as 
good'^ as a nod. When the prisoner stumbles, or sneezes, or looks 
out of one eye, — he is killed, and a report is rendered, " Shot -while 
attempting to escape. " 

In the 1868-78 war, the insurgents were never accorded belli- 
gerent rights by any power strong enough to take Spain by the throat 
and force her to conduct operations under the reasonable humanities 
of modem war. The peculiar form of Cuba renders the control of 
every port easy to the Spanish navy ; and although battles were won 
and campaigns steadily conducted for ten years by the insurgents, 
the United States government chose to close its eyes to the truth. 
The real facts were, not" that a state of war was not fully demon- 
strated, but the Alabama claims were in the air, and we were ready 
first to turn our backs on Cuba in order not to prejudice our money 
case against England, and after the payment of the award, the prece- 
dent was still too fresh. The South American republics which recog- 
nized Cuban belligerency were powerless, and Europe remained indif - 
erent. Thus Spain, left unrestrained by foreign powers, worked her 
will with a cynical frankness that laid bare her full savagery. The 
war having begun. General Count Yalmaseda published the follow- 
ing proclamation : 

** Inhabitants of the country ! The reinforcements of troops that I have been 
waiting for have arrived ; with them I shaU give protection * to the good, and 
punish promptly those that still remain in rebellion against the government of 
the metropolis. 

** You know that I have pardoned those who have fought us with arms ; that 
your wives, mothers, and sisters have found in me the imexpected protection that 
you have refused them. You know, also, that many of those we have pardoned 
have turned against us again. 

** Before such ingratitude, such villany , it is not possible for me to be the man 
that I have been ; there is no longer a place for a fabified neutrality ; he that is 
not for me ia against me; and that my soldiers may know how to distinguish, 
you hear the order they carry : 

** 1st. Every man, from the age of fifteen years upward, found away from his 
habitation, (flnca) and who does not prove a justified motive therefor, will be 
shot. 

*'2d. Every habitation unoccupied will be burned by the troops. 

** dd. Every habitation from which does not float a white flag, as a signal that 
its occupants desire peace, will be reduced to ashes. 

" Women that are not living at their own homes, or at the houses of their rela- 
tives, will collect in the town of Jiguani, or Bayamo, where maintenance will 
be provided. Those who do not present themselves will be conducted forcibly. 

"The foregoing determinations will commence to take effect on the 14th of 

the present month. 

El Conde de Yalmaseda.'* 
Bayamo, April 4, 1869. 



60 SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 

Spanish tyrants are always deeply Christian, so that it can hardly be 
supposed that Yalmaseda, in using solemn words of the Saviour, did 
so unconscious that the source of his phrase is the source of divine 
compassion to men. 

A month later, Mr. Fish, then Secretary of State, correctly 
branded this proclamation as ^^ infamous, " and wrote in a letter to 
Seflor Lopez Boberts (Spanish minister to the United States) : 

"In the interest of Christian civilization and common humanity, I hope 
that this document is a forgery. If it indeed be genuine, the President instmctB 
me in the most forcible manner to protest against such mode of warfare.* 

We have not forgotten the wanton butchery of Americans in the 
" Virginius" aflEair. It remains of value as a proved example without 
which we should be slow to believe that Spanish generals habitually 
shot insurgents captured in battle, as in fact they did. A published 
record of the Spanish barbarities of the war gives in detail a list of 
2,927 " Martyrs to Liberty," — political prisoners executed during the 
war, — and of 4,672 captured insurgents whose fate has never been 
made known. There were 13,000 confiscations of estates, 1,000 
being those of ladies whose only crime was the love of Cuban liberty. 

The experience of American newspaper correspondents, like 
0' Kelly, in rebel camps and Spanish prisons, confirms the revolt- 
ing character of the Spanish conduct of the war; and there are extant 
letters of Spanish officers which throw gleams of light into the dark- 
ness of the period. A specimen or two are enough. 

Jesus Bivocoba, under date of September 4, 1869, writes: 

" We captured seventeen, thirteen of whom were shot outright ; on djing 
they shouted, 'Hurrah for Free Cuba, hurrah for Independence. ' A mulatto said, 
' Hurrah for Ceepedes. ' On the following day we k illed a Cuban officer and another 
man. Among the thirteen that we shot the first day were found three sons and 
their father ; the father witnessed the execution of his sons without even chang- 
ing color, and when his turn came he said he died for the independence of his 
country. On coming back we brought along with us three carts filled with 
women and children, the families of those we had shot ; and they asked us to 
shoot them, because they would rather die than live among Spaniards. " 

Pedro Fardon, another officer, who entered perfectly into the spirit 
of the service he honored, writes on September 22, 1869: 

" Not a single Cuban will remain in this island, because we shoot all those 
we find in the fields, <m the farms, and in every hovel." 

And again, on the same day, the same officer sends the following 
good news to his old father: 

''We do not leave a creature alive where we pass, be it man or animal. If 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? Gl 

we find oowB, we kill them ; if horses, ditto ; if hogs, ditto ; men, women, or 
children, ditto ; as to the houses, we bum them : so every one receives his due, — 
the men in balls, the animals in bayonet- thrusts. The island will remain a 
desert." 

Yalmaseda himself paid a visit to the plantation home of the Mora 
family, and, there being no male patriots on whom to wreak his lust 
for blood, butchered and burned the sisters Mora and left their home 
in ashes. A mere enumeration of authentic cases of Spanish inhu- 
manity in the last insurrection would fill volumes and exhibit one of 
the blackest episodes of history. 

There is reason to hope that Campos will make war as a civilized 
soldier. In his termination of the last insurrection he showed a 
comprehension of modem methods, and there are symptoms that he 
is conscious of the general barbarism of Spain *s Cuban policy. It 
is not clear that he was not sincere in his programme of reform which 
induced the peace of 1878. For the despicable falseness of Spain as 
to her promised reforms, perhaps Campos was in no way responsible. 

In Spanish character survives a continuous trait of the pagan 
cruelty of Bome, reinforced and raised to fiendish intensity by the 
teachings of the Inquisition. Had the United States, by one stroke 
of her pen, recognized Cuban belligerency, as was her moral duty, all 
the Caligula-Torquemada atrocities would have been stopped, and the 
war for freedom gone on to victory unstained by the blood of women 
and children. President Grant lost this noblest opportunity of his 
civil career by miserable anxiety about the Alabama claims. 

Cubans are under no delusion as to the fateful step they have 
taken; the men who survived the scourge of the ten-years* war, in 
rushing to arms again, act in full consciousness of what they are 
doing, and willingly face the cruel odds. If this were a first effort to 
acquire freedom it might be attributed to the over* confident enthusi- 
asm of a brave people inexperienced in war and its train of suffering 
and grief, and ignorant of the combination of money, material, and 
men their enemy can hurl against her. But these are the very people 
who half a generation ago fought ten years, and felt the shock of 
200,000 Spanish soldiers, and suffered as no modem combatants have 
done. They enter this war as bravely as before, but with eyes 
open and with memory loaded down with visions of agony and blood. 
Of that adoration of liberty which is the only sure foundation of 
modem representative government, this insurrection is as pure and 
lofty an example as the course of human history can show. 



62 SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 

That all the material advantages of war are '^«tinst them can 
easily be s*en. In the first place, Cuba is a long, natrow island 
about seven hundred miles in east-and-west extent, by a north-and- 
south breadth of twenty-one to one hundred and twenty miles. It 
possesses a truly remarkable series of great and small harbors : the 
more important ones roomy and landlocked, like those of Havana, 
Cienf uegos, Santiago, and others of the type ; and the small, but often 
admirable ones strung at short intervals along the whole 2,000 miles 
of sea-coast. The greater harbors are fortified. Spain has a respect- 
able navy, and has in fact occupied all the chief and several of the 
small harbors with fifteen vessels of war. She has besides a fleet of 
light-draught gunboats, partly in use, and partly under contract on the 
Clyde, and soon to be available for cruising perpetually along the short 
intervals of shore between the various harbors which are occupied by 
larger war- vessels. In her centuries of neglect of useful public works in 
Cuba she has built practically no wagon -roads, so that if the insurgents 
possessed artillery, which they cannot obtain, they could not, save by 
an almost superhuman effort, move it to concentration for the cap- 
ture of one of the ports. Spain, on the other hand, holds the few 
rudimentary roads within the theatre of war, and whatever use 
of field guns is possible is therefore for Spain alone. Not only is 
every important harbor under effective blockade against insurgent 
people and freight, but it is a secure base of supplies. Practically 
seventy miles would be a maximum distance for any considerable 
operation from a safely maintained — even an unthreatened — ^base, and 
the average cannot be above fifty miles. Spain therefore begins her 
campaign to quell the Cubans with a cordon of impregnable bases, 
to which at all times she has unrestricted access by a sea on which 
not a single Cuban flag floats, except on some hovering unarmed 
sea-tug or timid blockade-runner which avoids the ports and creeps 
in under cover of darkness to bring a handful of patriots or some 
boxes of arms. By means of this complete chain of fortified and 
occupied harbors, Spain can pour in the whole resources of the 
nation in men, supplies, and munitions, without a moment's inter- 
ruption or a shadow of danger. These resources are a peninsula 
population of 17,000,000 to draw from, and a standing army which 
on a peace basis carries 115,735 men, and reaches in nominal war re- 
source something more than 1,000,000. Financial advantage is also 
wholly with Spain. Although bent under a debt of over a thousand 
millions of dollars, and her fiscal affairs in such wretched condition 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 63 

that there has ^^en no parliamentary indorsement of expenditures 
since 1865-67, and the Tribunal of Accounts has not dared to pub- 
lish the national books since 1869, — nevertheless Spain is a nation 
still possessing the shattered remnants of a public credit. She can 
vote bonds, and there is even yet a price at which they can be 
sold. Her soldiery face death with courage in spite of Napier's 
epigram that ^^ Spaniards are brave behind walls, cowards in the field, 
and robbers always," — their conduct in action in Cuba disproving the 
middle term of an otherwise correct characterization. 

The Spanish '' Military Gazette" gives the figures of the national 
forces in Cuba as follows: 60,000 regulars, the chief part of which 
are infantry, but including cavalry, 2,596; artillery, 621; engineers 
415; public-order officers, 676; civil guards, 4,400; marines, 2,700; 
guerrillas, 1,152; the whole under one Captain-General, seven divi- 
sion generals, one auditor, one military intendant, one sanitary in- 
spector, and the usual complement of staff and line officers. Besides 
this there are about 40,000 'Cuban militia recruited from the loyal 
classes and used chiefly for garrison purposes. There are fifteen war- 
ships, and nineteen vessels in purchase. 

All Cuba has a population of about 1,600,000, of which more 
than half are in garrison cities and regions so overawed by the power 
of Spain that they cannot successfully rise until the national forces 
are shattered in the field. Of the portion in revolt (about two- 
thirds of the area and one-third of the population) it is probable 
that of the total number of a sex, age, and physical condition to 
bear arms, the figure would not exceed the actual peace force of the 
Spanish army, to say nothing of the 17,000,000 which the enemy 
have to draw upon. 

Impoverished by centuries of financial oppression, the Cuban pa- 
triots are poor, their slender resources are the sum of innumerable 
small contributions. Few in number, empty of purse, they stand 
within this tight-drawn ring of Spanish fire. Cut off from any but dan- 
gerous and clandestine introduction of arms and medicines ; lacking 
supplies to form a base ; with not a cent to pay a single soldier or offi- 
cer of their little army; with only a skeleton medical corps, — in 
short almost nothing to make war with, — these brave souls are facing, 
not death only, but Spanish death. The region under revolution 
is one great graveyard of those fallen in the ten-years' revolt, yet 
Cubans are undaunted by the numbers or resources of their foe. 
Beside this far-reaching patience of valor a single act of heroism like 



64 SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 

ThermopjIaD is pastime; compared with the raggedness, hunger, and 
piivation which Cubans bravely choose to accept, Valley Forge was a 
garden party. For ten years these same men with the same slender 
resources held the arms and pride of Spain at bay, and then capitulated 
to promises which were made only to be broken. 

Of Spain the insurgents have no fear; but if the United States 
rigorously prevents the shipment of arms and munitions from our 
shore, we can discourage, we can delay the triumph of patriotism, 
but in the end we cannot prevent it. In this war, or the next, or the 
next, Cuba will be free. Although these men are our near neigh- 
bors, although we are to them the chosen people who have won inde- 
pendence and grown great in freedom, yet they have never made the 
slightest appeal to us for active aid in their struggle. They expect 
no good-Samaritan oiBces. They look for no gallant American La- 
fayette to draw sword for them and share the penury and hardships 
of their camps. They ask nothing. But I happen to know that 
they are at a loss to comprehend how a great people to whom Heaven 
has granted the victorious liberty for which they are fighting and 
dying, should let months pass in cold, half silence, without one ring- 
ing " God speed 1" to cheer them on into battle. 

It is doubtless explicable enough that a people whose own busi- 
ness is so essentially materialistic as ours, and who mind it so ab- 
sorbedly, should remain carelessly ignorant of the real Cuban ques- 
tion and the moral attitude of the island people; but is it fair, is it 
generous, is it worthy of the real blood of freedom that still flows 
from the big American heart? Already a change is coming, and 
isolated expressions of genuine sympathy are becoming frequent. 
The time will come, and that not long hence, when the voice of 
America will ring out clear and true. 

The Cuban war hangs before us an issue which we cannot evade. 
Either we must stand as the friend of Spain, and, by our thorough 
prevention of the shipment of war supplies to the insurgents, aid and 
countenance the Spanish efforts to conquer Cuba into continued sor- 
row, or we must befriend Cuba in her heroic battle to throw oflE a 
mediaDval yoke. Let us not deceive ourselves I Spain alone cannot 
conquer Cuba ; she proved that in ten years of miserable failure. If 
we prevent the sending of munitions to Cuba, and continue to allow 
Spain to buy ships and arms and ammunition here, it is we who will 
conquer Cuba, not Spain. It is we who will crush liberty I 

To secure victory for Cuba it is necessary for us, in my opinion, 



SHALL CUBA BE FREE? 65 

to take but a single step ; that is, to recognize her belligereDcj ; she 
will do all the rest. That step the government will doubtless hesitate 
to take at the present state of the struggle, because as jet the insur- 
gents have neither instituted a government nor established a caipital. 
In the last insurrection they did both, besides maintaining a state of 
war for ten years. That a state of war exists to-day is virtually 
admitted by the proclamation of Governor-General Campos, who in 
addition to the army under his command, consisting of about -60,000 
regulars and 40,000 militia, calls for heavy reinforcements, and the 
Spanish war office has been obliged to order out the first class of re- 
serves. Moreover, a commander-in-chief routed in battle and fleeing, 
his ^ rear-guard fighting bravely all the way into Bayamo, '' to use 
his own words, connotes nothing less than war. 

When the Cuban government is set up, as it soon will be, we 
shall have equally as good international authority and precedent to 
recognize a state of war in the island as Spain did for our own Con- 
federate insurgents forty days after the shot on Fort Sumter. We 
can return to her, in the interests of liberty, the compliment she then 
paid us in behalf of slavery. The justice will be poetic. With all 
possible decorum, with a politeness above criticism, with a firmness 
wholly irresistible, we should assist Spain out of Cuba and out of 
the hemisphere as effectually as Lincoln and Seward did the French 
invaders of Mexico in the 'sixties. Moreover, according to American 
precedent, neither a state of hostilities nor the setting up of a civil or 
military organization is positively necessary to entitle a people to 
belligerent rights ; for before either of these conditions were estab- 
lished in 1838, we went so far as to issue a proclamation for " preven- 
tion of unlawful interference in the civil war in Canada. " 

Our record toward Spain is clear. We heartily approved when 
George Canning invoked the Holy Alliance to prevent her from re- 
covering her American provinces, and in 1826 we refused to guar- 
antee her perpetual possession of Cuba in exchange for commercial con- 
cessions to ourselves. Our obligations to her are measured by an easily 
terminable treaty, which, however, while in force, in no way prevents 
us from recognizing Cuba's belligerency. Is it difficult for us to de- 
cide between free Cuba and tyrant Spain? Why not fling overboard 
Spain and give Cuba the aid which she needs, and which our treaty 
with Spain cannot prevent? Which cause is morally right? — which 
ia manly? — which is American? 

S Clarekcb King. 



GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE.* 

It will be the duty of the more serious criticism of another gen- 
eration in some degree to revive the reputation of George Eliot as an 
abiding literary force — a reputation which the taste of the hour, in 
view of her most undeniable failures, is rather disposed to reduce. 
Five and twenty years ago the tendency was toward excessive praise: 
many fine judges, of trained literary insight, proclaimed her as the 
greatest genius of the age, one of the brightest stars of English litera- 
ture, nay, said some of them, quite losing control of their speech — a 
modern Shakespeare, and so forth. Some cooler heads looked grave, 
but none save the inveterate cynics ventured to mock ; and the great 
public, as usual, thought it best to follow the lead of so many men 
and so many women of the higher culture. The inevitable reaction 
ensued: when, not only were the grave shortcomings of George Eliot 
ruthlessly displayed, but her noble aim and superb qualities were 
heedlessly ignored. 

The taste in popular romance sways hither and thither in violent 
contrasts, like the taste in hats or in frocks, or the verdict of man- 
hood suffrage. This or that type of skill becomes suddenly the rage, 
this or that mannerism is voted an offence, as easily as fashion runs 
after a new tint, or boycotts an obsolete sleeve. - Journalism and all 
the other forces of the hour stimulate and express these caprices and 
carry away the masses by their volubility and noise. It is the busi- 
ness of serious criticism, keeping a cooler head, to correct these fer- 
vid impulses of the day — whilst excited audiences in the amphi- 
theatre raise or depress the fatal thumb, awarding life or death to the 
combatants in the great arena. The business of criticism is to jtidge 
— ^to judge upon the whole evidence, after hearing counsel on both 
sides with equal attention, after weighing every shred of argument 
and every word that any witness has to oflEer, and, after patient 
weighing of every aspect of the case, to deliver a complete and rea- 
soned estimate of the whole matter at issue. The true critic is not a 
juryman, who has nothing to do but to say — "guilty," or "not 

' Ck>pyright also in England. 



GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN UTERATUBB. 67 

guilty." He is a judge of the supreme court of equity, who may 
find, in some intricate story unravelled at his bar, a dozen errors in 
law and as many mistakes of fact, and yet may give substantial relief 
or may decree onerous penalties. It is easy enough to detect faults, 
easy enough to insist on merits : the thing wanted to guide the pub- 
lic is the cool, compensated, equitable judgment that is not seduced 
by any conspicuous charm, and is not irritated by any incorrigible 
defect, but which, missing no point of merit and none of failure, 
finally and resolutely strikes the just balance. This just balance, 
with all its intricate adjustments of compensation and equivalence, 
is peculiarly needed in the case of George Eliot, and at the same time 
is unusually difl&cult. George Eliot was most conspicuous as an 
artist, as a worker in the sphere of imagination and creation. At the 
same time she had veiy rare powers and a really unusual learning 
quite outside of imaginative art. And these reflective powers and 
such stores of knowledge are often antagonistic to creative art, and 
undoubtedly were so not seldom with her. If Aristotle himself had 
written a dull psychological tragedy, we might read it for his sake, 
but we should not forgive him, and we ought not to forgive him. 
And if Shakespeare himself had written the " Novum Organum" or 
the " Principia," we should not have had " Hamlet" and " Lear," as 
we now know them. There is no compensation between philosophy 
and poetry. No profundity, no learning, can give beauty to verses 
which lack the divine fire. If George Eliot's fame had to be based 
solely on her great powers and endowments, her art would not be 
worth much. However, it is not so: she was an artist, with true 
artistic gifts. Her philosophic power and her scientific attainments 
often ennoble these gifts: yet it is too often evident that they seri- 
ously mar and embarrass thei^. 

Turn it the other way. Until nearly the age of forty, George^ 
Eliot was known only as a critical and philosophical writer. And"^ 
in reading, in logical acumen, and in breadth of view, she was the 
equal of the first minds of her time. But no one of her contempo- 
raries, eminent in philosophy and science, approached her, btwevei^ 
remotely, in artistic gifts; and no one of them even attempted to 
invest ethical and social ideas with high imagination and beautiful cre- 
ations. Thus, George Eliot was of a far higher mental plane than any 
contemporary who has used imaginative prose as an ai*t, and she was 
also a far greater artist than any contemporary philosopher. It is 
quite certain that learning and wisdom may be lodged in the same 



68 QBOBGB EUOTS PLACE IN LITERATUBE. 

brain with the highest poetry, as Lucretius, Virgil, Dante, Milton, 
and Goethe may prove. And brains of original power have not sel- 
dom used imaginative art with signal success to convey the ideas 
with which they were charged ; for this has been done by Cervantes, 
Rabelais, Swift, Rousseau, Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Carlyle, and 
Victor Hugo. 

It is therefore perfectly legitimate and quite natural that a power- 
ful and teeming mind should resort to art as its medium, and also 
that an artist of high aims should be a systematic thinker and an 
omnivorous student. The combination is very rare and success is sin- 
gularly difficult. To fail in art is to lose all and to end in utter 
failure. And to carry ethical purpose and erudition into art is in- 
deed a perilous undertaking, wherein but one or two of the greatest 
have whoDy succeeded. The problem with George Eliot is to judge 
how far she has succeeded in the all but impossible task. That her 
success is far from complete is but too obvious. That she has had 
many incidental successes is also obvious. Her work is not suffi- 
ciently spontaneous, not free, not buoyant enough. But it has great 
nobility, rare distinction. It will not live as perfect art; but it will 
not perish as an ambitious failure. If George Eliot were not a writer 
of romance, she was nothing at all in the front ranks of Victorian 
literature. «With all her powers of mind, her mastery of language, 
her immense stores of knowledge and supreme culture, she gave to 
the world nothing of great mark, acknowledged and known as hers, 
except her famous romances ; for, as we shall presently see, we can- 
not count any of the poems as of great mark. But as a writer of 
romance, George Eliot differs essentially from all the other writers of 
romance in her own or preceding generations. Most certainly she 
was not a bom romancer ; she had no spontaneous gift of telling 
stories, no irrepressible genius that way.i Now all the great 
romancers have been bom to it, as Robinson Crusoe was born to the 
sea, or as Tumer was born to paint. Though Scott published novels 
late, he had begun " Waverley" at thirty -four; his earlier works are 
ballalts and metrical romances; and from boyhood, at home and 
abroad, he was never without his tale of adventure and character. 
Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth " lisped" in novelettes, as Pope 
said he " lisped in numbers. " Though Charlotte Bronte published 
so little, she wrote stories incessantly from childhood. Lytton, Dick- 
ens, Thackeray, Trollope, invented tales as part of their daily lives, 
and from the earliest age. < George Eliot was thirty-nine when her first 






GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE. . 69 

tales were published, and she was forty before she was known to the 
public as a novelist at all. And so little was novel-writing her 
natural gift, that her most intimate friends never suspected her 
power, nor did she herself altogether enjoy the exercise of her art. 
To the last, her periods of mental gestation were long, painful, and 
unhopeful. Parturition was a dangerous crisis, and the long-ex- 
pected infant was reared with misgivings and a superfluity of cod- 
dling. The romances of George Eliot came like some enfant de mira- 
cle^ bom late in the mother's life, at the cost of infinite pain, much 
anxiety, and amidst the wondering trepidation of expectant circles 
of friends. 

We never quite get over the sense of almost painful elaboration, 
of a powerful mind having rich gifts striving to produce some rare 
music with an unfamiliar and uncongenial instrument. It reminds 
us of Beethoven evolving his majestic sonatas on an untuned and 
dilapidated old piano, the defects of which he could not himself hear. 
The conventional critic in the " Vicar of Wakefield" is told to say 
that " the picture would have been better if the artist had taken more 
pains. " With George Eliot we too often are made to feel that the 
picture would have been, at any rate, more enjoyable, if the artist 
had taken less pains. To study her more ambitious tales is like an 
attempt to master some new system of psychology. The metaphysi- 
cal power, the originality of conception, the long brooding over anom- 
alies and objections — these are all there: but the rapid improvisa- 
tion and easy intention are not there. Such qualities would indeed 
be wholly out of place in philosophy : but they are the essence of 
romance. In romance we want to feel that the piece is only brought 
to an end by time and our human powers of listening; that there is 
" plenty more where these came from" ; that the story-teller enjoys 
telling stories for their own sake, and would go on with the tales, 
though the audience were reduced to a child, an idiot, and a deaf 
man. 

This explains the paradox that the most popular and certainly the 
moat praised of George Eliot's works are the simpler and the shorter. 
Every one enjoys the " Scenes of Clerical Life, " — short stories of a 
hundred pages each, with simple plots and a few characters in every- 
day life. I have no doubt myself that " Silas Mamer" comes nearer 
to being a great success than any of the more elaborate books. Yet 
" Silas Mamer" is about one -fifth part of the length of ** Middle - 
march"; and its plot, mise-en-acine^ and incidents are simplicity 



70 GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LTTERATURB. 

itself. There is no science, no book-learning, and but few ethical 
problems in it from beginning to end ; and it all goes in one small 
volume, for the tale concerns but the neighbours of one quiet village. 
Yet the quaint idyllic charm of the piece, the perfection of tone and 
keeping, the harmony of the landscape, the pure, deep humanity of 
it all, make it a true and exquisite work of high art. 

Modern English (and I am one of those who hold that the best 
modem English is as good as any in our literature) has few pieces of 
description more gem-like in its crystalline facets than the opening 
chapter that tells of the pale uncanny weaver of Raveloe in his stone 
cottage by the deserted pit. Some of us can remember such house- 
weavers in such lonesome cottages on the Northern moors, and have 
heard the unfamiliar rattle of the loom in a half -ruinous homestead. 
How perfect is that vignette of Raveloe — " a village where many of 
the old echoes lingered, undrowned by new voices" — with its 
" strange lingering echoes of the old demon- worship among the gray- 
haired peasantry" ! The entire picture of the village and its village 
life a hundred years ago is finished with the musical and reserved 
note of poetry, such as we are taught to love in Wordsworth and 
Tennyson. And for quiet humour modem literature has few happier 
scenes than the fireside at the Rainbow, with Macey and Winthrop, 
the butcher and the farrier, over their pipes and their hot potations 
and the quarrel about seeing ghos'es, about smelling them! Within 
this most graceful and refined picture of rural life there is a domi- 
nant ethical motive which she herself describes as its aim " to set in 
a strong light the remedial influences of pure, natural, human rela- 
tions. " This ailh is perfectly worked out ; it is a right and healthy 
conception, not too subtle, not too common — to put it in simpler 
words than hers, it is how a lonely ill-used old man is purified by 
the love of a faithful and affectionate child. The form is poetic ; 
the moral is both just and noble; the characters are living, and the 
story is original, natural, and dramatic. The only thing, indeed, 
which " Silas Marner" wants to make it a really great romance is more 
ease, more rapidity, more " go. " The melody runs so uniformly in 
minor keys, the sense of care, and meditation, and introspection is so 
apparent in every line, the amount of serious thought lavished by 
the writer and required of the reader is so continuous, that we are 
not carried away, we are not excited, inspired, and thrilled as we are 
by " Jane Eyre" or " Esmond." We enjoy a beautiful book with a 
fine moral, set in exquisite prose, with consummate literary resources, 



GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE. 71 

full of- fine thoughts, true, ennobling thoughts, and with no weak 
side at all, unless it be the sense of being over- wrought, like a pic- 
ture which has been stippled over in every surface. A clever French 
woman said of George Eliot's conversation — " Elle s^icoute quand die 
parleP^ Just so, as we read on, we seem to see how she held up 
each sentence into the light, as it fell from her pen, scrutinized it to 
see if some rarer phrase might not be compacted, some subtler thought 
excogitated. Of all the more important tales, " Silas Mamer" is that 
wherein we least feel this excessive thoughtfulness. And thus it is 
the best. Perhaps other born romancers would have thrown into it 
more life, energy, jollity, or passion. Thackeray would have made 
the weaver rather ridiculous; Dickens would have made Eppie a sen- 
timental angel; Charlotte Bronte would have curdled our blood; 
Trollope might have made more of Nancy's courting. But no one 
of them could have given us a more lofty lesson " of the remedial in- 
fluences of pure, natural, human relations." The only doubt is 
whether a novel is the medium for such lessons. On this, opinions 
are, and will remain, divided. 

When we ask for a romance fully developed and not a graceful 
vignette, " Adam Bede" must be regarded as the principal, and with 
the wider public it is the typical, work of George Eliot. She said 
herself that it seemed to her " impossible that she should ever write 
anything so good and true again" ; — and herein she was no doubt 
right. It is the only one of her works in prose or verse which we 
feel to be inevitable, spontaneous, written out of the abundance of 
enjoyment and experience. It is of all her books the heartiest, the 
wittiest, the most cheerful, or rather the least desponding. In that 
book, perhaps, she exhausted herself and her own resources of obser- 
vation as an eye-witness. She wrote fine things in other veins, in 
different scenes, and she conceived other characters and new situa- 
tions. But, for all practical purposes, "Adam Bede" was the typi- 
cal romance that everything she had' thought or known impelled her 
to write, and in which she told the best of what she had seen and the 
most important of what she had to say. Had she never written 
anything but " Adam Bede," she would haf^e had a special place of 
her own in English romance: — and I am not sure that anything else 
which she produced very materially raised, enlarged, or qualified 
that place. 

" The Mill on the Floss" must always be very interesting to all 
who knew George Eliot and loved her work, if for no other reason, 



72 GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN UTERATUBE. 

for its autobiographic and personal touches aod its revelation of 
yearnings and misgivings hardly suspected in life. There are scenes 
and minor characters in it which hold their own against " Adam 
Bede, " but'as a whole it is not so strong or so rich in colour, and it can 
hardly be said to occupy new ground. It has not the pathos of 
" Amos Barton," nor the exquisite style of " Silas Mamer," nor the 
breadth and constructive merit of " Adam Bede. " And, except to 
the chosen band of Eliotists, it is not likely to retain any permanent 
popularity. It is a book to study for those who have special interest 
in George Eliot as woman, as teacher, and as artist — but for my own 
part I find it rather a book to reflect upon, than a book to read and to 
re-read . 

With respect to " Bomola, " though we must all agree with Mr. 
Oscar Browning that it is " replete with learning, " " weighted with 
knowledge in every page," exquisite in art, and so forth, it is really 
impossible to call it with him " the best historical novel ever writ- 
ten. " Even in exact reproduction of another age, it cannot compare 
with " Esmond," and how immeasurably as romance is it beneath the 
fire and movement of a dozen historical romances that one could 
name! The beauty of the Florentine pictures, the enormous care, 
thought, and reading lavished on the story, the variety of literary 
resource — all make it a most memorable work, a work almost sui 
generis^ a book which every student of Italy, every lover of Florence 
must mark, learn, and inwardly digest. But to call it a complete 
success is to go too far. The task was too great. To frame in a 
complex background of historical erudition an ethical problem of even 
greater complexity and subtlety — this was a task which might have 
sorely tried even greater powers than hers — a task in which Goethe 
and Scott might have succeeded, but which Goethe and Scott were 
too truly the bom artists to attempt. " Romola" is certainly a won- 
derful monument of literary accomplishments; but it remains a tour 
de force, too elaborate, too laboured, too intricate, too erudite. As 
the French say, it has trop de choseSy it is too long, too full, over- 
costumed, too gorgeously mounted on the stage. We sometimes see 
nowadays " a Shakespearian revival, " with scenery studied by eminent 
artists on the spot, costumes archeeologically accurate, real armour, 
" properties" from famous collections, a mtse-en-schie of lavish splen- 
dour and indefatigable research — and then we ask what has become of 
Hamlet or Lear, and why is Romeo such a melancholy devil? Few 
men enjoyed the earlier portions of " Romola" more than I did. 



GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE. 73 

Italiantssimo and Florentissimo as I was, it was an intense treat. 
But, tbough I have read and re-read " Bomola" from time to time, it 
has always been in sections. I have never read it straight through 
at one time; and to this hour, I am not quite clear about all the rami- 
fications of the plot and the various cross-purposes of the persons. 
Could any one say this about " Quentin Durward" or " Ivanhoe," or 
of the " Last Days of Pompeii," or of " Esmond," or even of " Hy- 
patia"? " Romola," we know, tried its author most cruelly in com- 
position, nor need we wonder at this. "I began it," she said, "a 
young woman — I finished it an old woman. " " It ploughed into 
her," said her husband, " more than any of her other books." And, 
in my opinion, it marks the decline of her genius. I cannot count 
any of the later books as equal to the earlier books. Her truly great 
period of production reaches at most over the six years 1858-1863 
{cetat. 39-45) in which she produced " Scenes of Clerical Life" 
(1858), "Adam Bede" (1869), "The Mill on the Floss" (1860), 
" Silas Mamer" (1861), and " Romola" (1863). n I were to meas- 
ure by true success in the higher art, this period should not be 
extended beyond the four years which closed with " Silas Mamer. " 
" Romola" is a most ambitious, very beautiful, altogether noble fail- 
ure. And I cannot count any of the later pieces, prose or verse, as 
anything but far inferior to " Romola. " They have great beauties, 
fine passages, subtle characters, and high conceptions — but they are 
the artificial products of a brain that showed symptoms of exhaustion, 
of a great writer who was striving after impossible tasks without free- 
dom and without enjoyment. 

I cannot at all agree with those admirers of Geoi^e Eliot's genius 
who believe that it grew continuously in power, who even assure us 
that it reached its zenith in "Daniel Deronda." What can they 
mean? " Daniel Deronda," as usual, shows brilliant literary skill in 
many passages, and its insight into modem Hebraism is a psychologi- 
cal problem, only explicable on the theory that George Henry Lewes 
himself was a kind of unconscious, unrecognized. Gentile Jew in 
spirit. But with all its merits, and even beauties, " Daniel Deronda" 
has the fatal defect of unpleasant characters who are neither beautiful 
nor interesting, terrible situations which bore rather than terrify us, 
and a plot which is at once preposterous and wearisome. As to 
" Middlemarch" — George Eliot's longest, most crowded, and ethically 
most elaborated romance — with all its subtlety, its humour, its variety, 
and its sardonic insight into provincial Philistinism, it becomes at 



74 GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE. 

last tedious and disagreeable by reason of the intenninable maunder- 
ings of tedious men and women, and the slow and reiterated dissection 
of disagreeable anatomies. At this moment I cannot after twenty 
years recall the indefinite, lingering plot, or the precise relations to 
each other of the rather uninteresting families, who talk scandal and 
fuss about in Middlemarch town. 

In " Felix Holt" I was naturally much interested, having read it 
in manuscript, and advised upon the point of law, as appears from 
her published letters in the " Life*' by J. Cross. There are two or 
three lines — the lawyer's " opinion on the case'' — which she asked me 
to sketch ; and I remember telling her, when she inserted these lines 
in the book, that I should always be able to say that I had written at 
least a sentence which was embodied in English literature. " Felix 
Holt" contains some fine characters and scenes, but I cannot regard it 
as equal to" Adam Bede" and " Silas Marner. " We will not speak of 
" Theophrastus Such" (1879), written just before her death. . It was 
the work of a woman physically and intellectually exhausted. I feel 
a certain guilty sense of disappointment when I think of the book, 
for I possibly had some hand in leading to its being written. I had 
sent her a long letter pointing out that our literature, with all its 
wealth of achievement in every known sphere, was still deficient in 
one form of composition in which the French stood paramount and 
alone. That was what they call PensSes — moral and philosophical 
reflections in the form of epigrams or rather apophthegms. I thought, 
and I still think, that this form of composition was peculiarly suited 
to her genius, at least in its prime. It was not in its prime when 
she painfully evolved the sour affectations set forth in " Theo- 
phrastus. " 

A word or two must be said about the Poems. They have poetic 
subjects, ideas, similes; they are full of poetic yearning, crowded 
with poetic imagery; they have everything poetry needs, except 
poetry. They have not the poet's hall-mark. They are imitation 
poems, like the wonderful forged " ancient masters" they concoct at 
Florence, or the Tanagra statuettes they make in Germany. With all 
her consummate literary gifts and tastes, George Eliot never managed 
to write a poem, and never could be brought to see that the verses 
she wrote were not poems. It was an exaggeration of the same de- 
fect that mars her prose ; and her verses throw great light on her 
prose. They are overlaboured ; the conception overpowers the form; 
they are too intensely anxious to be recognized as poems. We see 



GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE. 75 

not so much poetic passion, as a passionate yearning after poetic 
passion. We have — not the inevitable, incalculable, inimitable 
phrase of real poetry — but the slowly distilled, calculated, and imi- 
tated effort to reach the spontaneous. It is melancholy indeed to 
have to say this, after such labour, such noble conceptions, such mas- 
tery over language : but it is the truth. And it explains much of 
kindred failure in her prose work. Great imagination, noble concep- 
tions, mastery over language can do much, but they cannot make a 
poet. Nothing can, but being a poet. Nor can these gifts make a 
great romancer or poet in prose. Nothing can, but being bom to 
romance, to being a prose poet. The Lord said truly — ** Which of 
you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" George 
Eliot had not sufficiently meditated on this scripture. She too often 
supposed that by taking thought — by enormous pains, profound 
thought, by putting this thought in exquisite and noble words — she 
might produce an immortal romance, an immortal poem. 

And yet let us never forget that " The Spanish Gypsy" is a very 
grand conception, that it has some noble scenes, and here and there 
some stately lines — even some beautiful passages, could we forget 
the artificial alliteration and the tuneless discords to which the poet's 
ear seems utterly insensible. The opening lines seem to promise 
well and have much of mellow thought, in spite of five hissing sibi - 
lants in the very first verse : 

** 'Tis the warm South, where Europe spreads her lands, 
Like fretted leaflets, breathing on the deep :" 

And then comes in the fourth line an awful cacophony of alliteration — 
and an alliteration in " c. " 

** A calm earth-goddess crowned with com and vines** 
Then comes a really pretty but artificial line — an alliteration in " m. " 

''On the Mid Sea that moans with memories'* 
The seventh line again is an alliteration of alternate " p " and " d. " 

"Pant dumbly passionate with dreams of youth.** 
The tenth line is an excruciating alliteration in sibilants — 

" Feeds the famed Stream that waters Andalus. ** 
But it must be admitted that the next line is graceful — 

** And loiters, amorous of the fragrant air. ** 



76 GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE. 

The whole introductaon of some four hundred linea is full of beauti- 
ful images, fine thoughts, and striking phrases — ^but it is crowded, 
artificial, brocaded to excess with trop de choses; and it suddenly 
breaks into drama, with dialogue in persons. This alternation of 
dramatic form and dialogue with epical narrative, interlarding the 
tragedy in parts with portentously long explanatory comment, is per- 
haps the most unlucky novelty which was ever attempted in verse. 
What would one say if whole pages out of Wordsworth's " Excur- 
sion" had been accidentally bound up between the pages of Shake- 
speare's " Hamlet" ? 

But it is needless to enlarge on all the metrical and poetic defects of 
this medley of nearly ten thousand lines, with its lip-twisting, ear- 
torturing lyrics — (was there ever such a cacophony as — 

"O the sweet sweet prime 
Of the past spring-time ! — ") 

— with its strange alternations of action and narration, its soliloquies of 
one hundred and fifty unbroken lines, and all its other incongruities. 
The important point is — that it has a really grand scheme, that the 
characters of Zarca and Fedalma are lofty, definite, impressive, and 
nobly dramatic, that the whole poem is, in conception, a work of 
power and true imagination. Just as Kingsley, who had far greater 
poetic faculty than George Eliot, mistook in making " The Saint's 
Tragedy" a drama, when he might have made it a grand historical 
romance, so George Eliot made a cruel mistake in writing " The Span- 
ish Gypsy" as a poem, when she might have written it as an histori- 
cal romance — a romance, it may be, much superior to " Romola, " as 
the subject and the conception were on grander lines. 

It is to me a truly melancholy duty to have to admit that so much 
in the noble conceptions and rich thought of George Eliot was not a 
complete success in ultimate execution — and that, in great measure, 
because the conception and aim were so great and the execution so 
profoundly conscientious. I knew her well ; I was amongst those 
who had the deepest regard for her mental power and her moral in- 
sight. I always recognized her as one of the best and most cultured 
minds of her time. I had great faith in her judgment, and could re- 
spect her courage even when I repudiated her opinions. But I never 
was one of those who exaggerated her gifts as an artist. I never 
could count anything later than " Silas Marner" as a complete and 
unqualified masterpiece. One may have the imaginative power of 



GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LFTERATUBE. 77 

Michael Angelo's Sistine Chapel, or of his Medicean tombs, and yet if 
one is not complete master of the brush and the chisel, no imagina- 
tion, no thought will produce a masterpiece in fresco or in marble. 
George Eliot was a most thoughtful artist, but she was more of a 
thinker than an artist; she was always more the artist when she was 
least the thinker; and when she conceived a work of art in her sub- 
limest aspii'ations (as notably in " The Spanish Gypsy") she almost 
.makes us doubt if she were an artist at all. She was an artist: and 
the younger generations will make an unpardonable error if they fail 
to do justice to the permanent survival of her best and earliest work. 
They will also be guilty of unpardonable blindness, if they fail to note 
how completely she stands above all her contemporary rivals in ro- 
mance in thought, in knowledge, in nobility of aim. She raised the 
whole art of romance into a higher plane of thought, of culture, and 
of philosophic grasp. And when she failed, it was often by reason 
of the nobility of her aim itself, of the volume of her own learning, 
of the intensity of her own standard of perfection. Her passages in 
prose are studied with the care that men usually bestow on a sonnet; 
her accessories and landscapes are patient and conscientious tran- 
scripts of actual spots of country and town ; her drama is a problem 
of ethical teaching, subtly elaborated, and minutely probed. In these 
high aims and difficult ambitions, she not seldom failed, or achieved 
a somewhat academic and qualified success. But the task was not 
seldom such that even to have fallen short of complete success was a 
far from ignoble triumph. 

She raised the whole art of romance to a higher plane, I say ; and, 
although in this ambitious aim she too often sacrificed freshness, 
ease, and simplicity, the weight of the limits she imposed on herself 
must fairly be counted in the balance. Romance had never before in 
England been written with such a sense of responsibility, with such 
eager subtlety of form, and with such high ethical purpose. The 
sense of responsibility wearies many readers, and at last crushed the 
writer; the form became "precious," and at last pedantic; and the 
ethical purpose was sometimes more visible than the ethical life. In 
the French drama, Comeille had great conceptions, noble types of 
character, stately verse, and tragic situations; but English readers 
too often find him mannered, artificial, dull. Comeille, I freely 
admit, is not Shakespeare: I greatly prefer Shakespeare; but I pre- 
fer Comeille to Ibsen. We have plenty of Ibsenites to-day, and 
rather a plethora than a dearth of ignoble creatures in squalid situa- 



78 GEORGE ELIOT'S PLACE IN LITERATURE. 

tioDS who expose to us their mean lives with considerable truth to 
nature. In such an age, it is just as well that the lessons of ^' Adam 
Bede, " " Romola, " Fedalma and Zarca, should not be quite forgotten. 
The art of romance, in the widest and loftiest sense of the term, 
is even yet in its infancy. Ancient literature, mediaeval literature, 
knew nothing of it. Nor indeed did modem literature entirely con. 
ceive it in all its fulness until the days of Le Sage, Richardson, Field- 
ing, Goldsmith. Nay, we may say that its power was not quite re- 
vealed before Scott, Goethe, Manzoni, Jane Austen, Balzac, and 
George Sand. Its subtlety, its flexibility, its capacity for analytic 
research, its variety of range, and facility for reaching all hearts and 
all minds — all this is simply incalculable. And we may be sure that 
the star of romance in its best sense has not yet reached its zenith. 
It is the art of the future — and an art wherein women are quite as 
likely to reign as men. It would be treason to Art to pretend that 
George Eliot came near to such perfection. But she had certain 
qualities that none of her predecessors had quite possessed, and she 
strove for an ideal which may one day become something more than 
a dream — a dream that as yet eludes and escapes from the mind as it 
struggles to grasp it and to fix it. 

Fbedebic Harrison. 



THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 

It has often been remarked that a commercial crisis is a part of 
the process of cure of preceding evil conditions. What is called 
speculation has customarily preceded such crises, often on the wild- 
est possible lines. Yet every man who buys or provides goods in 
anticipation of their consumption is in one sense a speculator. He 
trusts the future for an increasing demand coupled with a gradual 
reduction of the stock of each season. He thus distributes such 
goods, equalizing and steadying prices, to the benefit of all, including 
himself. But when fancy and imagination take the place of sound 
judgment, speculation runs riot. The prices of stocks, of lands, and 
of goods of every kind are forced to a point which is injurious 
both to the producers who are misled and to the consumers who for 
the time pay more than the goods are worth. Then comes the com- 
mercial crisis which merely weeds out the unsound or bankrupt, leaving 
the solvent establishments to recover and to go on their usual course. 

There are other crises in the conduct of business of a different 
kind. The most notable one which ever occurred in this country 
was the financial panic and paralysis of industry which, although 
long anticipated by a few persons, suddenly burst upon the country 
in April, 1893. This crisis was not due to the customary causes. 
There had not been any recent extravagant speculation. Railway 
enterprise had even been restricted. There had been no excessive 
construction of mills or workshops of any moment. The prices of 
goods were low, the wages of labor were high, and there was no lack 
of employment for the industrious and capable either in the field, in 
the forest, in the mine, in the factory, or in the workshop. The 
panic was a purely political one, due to the incapacity of the Con- 
gress of the United States to deal with the great financial questions 
then pending. The warning had been repeatedly given that disaster 
would ensue unless the credit and integrity of the country were 
maintained by stopping the inflation of the currency on a silver 
basis. It was finally stopped to avoid immediate disaster. The 
effects of this crisis lasted for over two years, bringing want and 



80 THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 

compulsory idleness in the midst of abundance, and in the face of all 
natural conditions making for prosperity and welfare. Its malignant 
influence is still felt. 

Can there be any benefit from hard times due to such causes? 
Of course no one would wilfully promote such a cause of hard times 
in order to attain an ultimate benefit. Whatever benefit may have 
ensued would have surely come in the lapse of time, but perhaps not 
so soon except for this active cause. One may, therefore, rightly 
review the compensations which may ensue or have ensued to the 
benefit and welfare of the people as a whole, but at the cost of many 
individuals who have wrongfully suffered from this panic. 

One conspicuous result of a crisis of any kind is to bring into 
view bad practices which have been either fraudulent or semi-fraudu- 
lent, and which have tended to develop what might be called *' finan- 
cial dry rot," first working slowly, but surely culminating in virulent 
activity and in sudden collapse. There has, perhaps, never been a 
commercial or financial crisis in which these effects were more 
marked than they have been since the panic of 1893. 

The most conspicuous effect of this panic has been in its influ- 
ence upon railway property. A very considerable proportion of the 
mileage of our railways has been forced into the hands of receivers, 
leading to the necessity of reorganizing several very extensive sys- 
tems. This disaster has without doubt been very severe upon many 
holders of stocks and bonds, to many of whom no fault could be im- 
puted. On the other hand, a permanent benefit will come out of this 
disaster. There has been little or no dijBSculty during the last ten or 
twenty years in making a selection of the bonds of solvent railway 
corporations for permanent investment with little or no hazard of the 
loss of either interest or principal; while, on the other hand, there is 
hardly a railway corporation or system which has been forced into the 
hands of receivers on which the risk could not have been anticipated 
by prudent persons examining the cases on their own account, or upon 
which they could not have received advice from prominent bankers or 
railway experts which would have saved them from their present loss. 

If regard be given to the financial history of almost every one of 
the railway systems which have lately become insolvent, the cause 
may be readily found, dating in many cases from the very beginning 
of the enterprise. The ordinary rules which govern sound business 
undertakings have been wholly disregarded in the lay-out and con- 
struction of a very considerable part of the railway service of this 



THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 81 

country. Had any one at any time in the last twenty years put 
before investors a manufacturing or commercial undertaking upon 
the lines on which railway construction has been conducted, not a 
dollar of true capital would ever have been invested either in the 
manufacturing operation or the business thus promoted. What 
would have been thought of a promoter of a textile factory, machine- 
shop, or any other department of productive industry who should 
have laid before the public a plan for borrowing money sufficient to 
pay for the plant on first- mortgage bonds, thereby incurring a debt 
equal to the investment at the very beginning ; then issuing as a 
bonus an equal or lesser amount of second-mortgage bonds; and then 
throwing in the preferred and common stock for a sum equal to both 
classes of the bonds combined, more or less, without any payment 
whatever? Would he not have been deemed an imbecile or a rogue? 
Yet that is not an extravagant statement of the way in which many 
railway enterprises, now almost all in the hands of receivers, have 
been put upon the public. 

Next has followed an effort to recover from the price of the rail- 
way service a full income on both classes of bonds and something over 
for a dividend on the stock. Success has sometimes been temporarily 
attained even in that undertaking. Hence the virulent bitterness 
against watered stock. What followed? Some other corporation 
more conservatively managed, witnessing the opportunity to extend 
its own business, has built a competing line on a cash basis at true 
cost. Competition has ensued. The railway capitalized on a cash 
basis and operated with true business sagacity has of necessity secured 
a large part of the traffic at a lessening and yet sufficient charge. 
After a vain struggle the speculative enterprise has come to grief, 
to the great benefit of the public, but in total disregard of the rela- 
tively small number of innocent victims. 

Yet again, there is a certain number of men whose names are 
synonyms for integrity, ability, and true business capacity, under 
whose direction great railway enterprises have been successfully con- 
ducted, subject only to temporary difficulties such as affect all 
branches of productive energy. On the other hand, great systems of 
railway have fallen into the hands of malefactors whose very names 
might have been taken as a warning to prudent investors not to put 
their money under conditions in which it might be stolen from them. 
It has never been difficult to choose railway investments of the safer 
kind on the part of those who may have elected to incur a true busi- 
6 



82 THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 

ness risk on a cash basis ; it has never been difficult for any person 
of ordinary prudence to avoid being shorn by the malefactors and 
their associates who have abused their trust and whose names had 
become synonyms for fraud. 

But in addition to these forces, on the one side sustaining skilled 
management, and on the other side leading to the destruction of the 
victims of the malefactor, other causes have gravely affected the rail- 
way service. No prudent manager of any manufacturing corpora- 
tion, or of any business enterprise in which capital has been invested 
in costly machinery, ever fails to charge to the cost of the annual 
product a full sum for the necessary depreciation of the plant. How 
many railway corporations are there which have closed their con- 
struction account (except for extensions), and have regularly 
charged oft year by year a sum sufficient to bring the valuation of 
locomotive engines — which, not many years ago, were rated at over 
twice what they cost to-day, cars in proportion, and steel rails which 
cost one hundred dollars a ton, — down to the present cash valuation 
of about seven thousand dollars for the locomotive engine of a more 
effective kind, better cars at a similar reduction in cost, and steel 
rails at less than twenty -five dollars a ton? Yet is it not in the 
interest of the public, and is it not a matter of necessity on the part 
of the railway corporation, that their plant on which they may expect 
to earn an income shall be brought down to a valuation representing 
only what the cost of that railway would be at the present time, on 
which only can any income now be recovered from the service? 
Whatever may be the misfortune to the small fraction of the popula- 
tion of this country who have a property interest in railway bonds, 
or to the yet smaller fraction who have any interest in railway stocks, 
it is nevertheless an economic necessity that all property of this 
kind must be brought down to a cost valuation at the present time, 
on which the profit over and above the cost of service may be main- 
tained at 4 or 5 per cent per annum, as compared to a rightly expected 
profit twenty years ago of 6 to 10 per cent. 

Turning now to the future: the railway service of the country is 
wholly insufficient for its present need. There may be more than 
enough through lines, but a very great amount of railway construc- 
tion is yet required to bring the crossway or connecting service of 
individual States to anything like a sufficient condition. It is to 
the great benefit of the country as a whole that the speculative 
method of promoting, and the malefactor^s method of plundering 



THE BENEFITS OF HABD TDiES. 83 

the community have been brought to an end. When railway con- 
struction begins again, as it soon may, will it not of necessity be 
conducted by men of integrity on a cash basis with an effort to earn 
only a reasonable income on a true investment? Is it probable that 
the malefactor's method can again be imposed upon an over-confident 
community? It may, however, well be remembered that the sheep 
who are shorn in the stock market always bring their own fleeces to 
the man who holds the shears : each generation seems to supply a 
new flock of gullible sheep. 

There is another beneficial aspect of the influence of the panic 
upon the future of the railway service. There can be little doubt 
that on very many railway lines and systems a true and careful 
economy had never been exercised. Hard times have been a most 
severe schoolmaster. There has probably been greater progress 
in increasing the efl&ciency of the railway service of this country, and 
in reducing the cost by the exercise of true economy, during the last 
two or three years, than in any similar period at any previous time. 
The margin of profit in almost every branch of productive energy 
now consists in saving the waste of previous periods. This rule is 
as urgent and severe in railway operation as it is in manufacturing. 
On the other hand, the entire profit of the nation as a whole in a 
prosperous year now amounts to a less sum than has been saved by 
the reduction in railway charges in the last twenty years. Were 
railway charges at the same rates as they were from 1866 to 1870, 
the excess each year would come to more than the present savings or 
additions to capital of the whole nation. The reduction in railway 
charges and the substitution of railways for roadways even since 1870 
is equal to the redaction in the prices of nearly all our great staple 
products: the benefit of this reduction has been reaped by con- 
sumers, who have gained both from the low prices and high wages 
which are the complement of lessening cost of production and dis- 
tribution. These are permanent benefits both to the public and to 
the present railway owners. By so much as the dividends of rail- 
ways may have been unduly reduced of late under the pressure of 
hard times, may they be moderately increased in the future through 
the exercise of greater economy and more efficiency in the conduct of 
the work of the railways themselves. 

It may happen that in certain instances the final conclusion of the 
present difficulties affecting some railway systems may not be reached 
until through actual bankruptcy the property is sold under the fore- 



84 THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 

closure of the first-mortgage bonds ; all other securities being wiped 
out. Thereafter the property may be reorganized on the basis of 
what it would cost at the present time. Under such conditions 
nearly all existing lines may be expected to continue to be operated for 
the benefit of the community, and in most cases to the benefit of the suc- 
cessors of the present owners of the speculative " securities," so-called. 

If these points are well taken, the disaster which may be attributed 
to the panic of 1893 in the railway service has been limited to a very 
small fraction of the community ; the general benefit will be distrib- 
uted through many subsequent years. 

We may next take up cotton, subsequently wheat. There are 
no two products which are more conspicuous than these two, because 
they enter so largely into our international commerce. There are 
several other products which exceed them in importance and in valua- 
tion, but their use, being mainly limited to this country, does not 
attract so much attention. 

Dealing first with cotton, there is no great important staple which 
has been so maltreated, from the beginning of its cultivation down to 
a very recent period, as American cotton. The Southern States, 
relying upon their paramount advantage in the production of the 
useful cotton of commerce, have wholly ignored the most important 
elements of improvement in the production, under the mistaken 
notion that their customers paid for their abuses and their neglect 
of the staple. The saw -gin by which the cotton is separated from 
the seed ought to be and will soon be invented out of existence. 
Its only merit is the quantity which can be run through each machine ; 
and the greater the quantity and the higher the speed, the greater the 
damage. It tears and cuts the staple. It renders it useless for 
planters to lengthen or improve their staple, because with that improve- 
ment comes the greater injury when the longer cotton is ginned upon 
the saw -gin. After it has been badly ginned, our cotton has been 
as badly baled, as badly covered, and as badly treated as it is possi- 
ble to conceive. Every effort to promote improvement in past years 
failed. The writer undertook to deal with this subject many years 
ago, but long since came to the conclusion that nothing but the 
lesson of hard times and excessively low prices would bring about 
any change for the better. That time arrived. The silver craze 
increased its intensity. Prices, which would have been forced very 
low by enormous crops, were forced yet lower through the discredit, 
especially of the Southern section of the country, induced by the 



THE BENEFITS OF HABD TIMES. 85 

silver craze. The benefits are in sight. The whole South is aroused. 
New methods of baling, new methods of handling, and improved 
methods of ginning are already invented and firmly established. 

The merit of Egyptian cotton for American use, whereby a great 
many factories have been established in this country on the finer 
numbers for which American cotton as now grown and handled is 
utterly unfit, has called the attention, especially of the people of 
Texas, to the reason why Egyptian cotton is better. There are vast 
areas, notably in the southern and upon many parts of the coast of 
Texas, also upon the Eed Eiver and other bottom lands, where cotton 
equal to Egyptian cotton can doubtless be grown; possibly from 
American green seed, but more surely from the black seed of Egypt 
itself if it can be kept separate from other types and maintained on 
its own merits. Yet it would be useless to cultivate and pick such 
cotton if it were then ginned upon the saw-gin and packed as badly 
as American cotton is now packed. There are signs of a true com- 
prehension of this question. Within the year several different types 
of the roller-gin on which Egyptian cotton is now prepared have 
been brought to the attention of the cotton-growers. The way is 
plain. All that is needed to attain the benefit of the recent hard 
times is for the Southern cotton -growers to exercise their own intelli- 
gence and to learn the true lesson. Egypt has reached her maximum 
until enormous and expensive irrigation brings into cultivation new 
areas of soil now desert. Within a few weeks the supply of Egyptian 
cotton appears to have been exhausted, and while the price of 
American cotton has advanced moderately the price of Egyptian 
cotton has nearly doubled. 

Under the pressure of lessening prices a vast general benefit is 
being secured in the Southern States, so lately redeemed from the 
burden of the slave system of agriculture. That system was described 
more perfectly by Southern men than it ever has been by any other 
writers. Dr. N. B. Cloud, of Alabama, one of the most intelligent 
ante-war writers on agriculture, long since stigmatized Southern 
methods of farming in substantially the following words: 

"Ton haTe gullied your hillsides and blasted your prairies, and, while pos- 
sessing the control of the best forage plants of the world, haTe made yourselves 
dependent upon the Northern States for hay with which to subsist your stock." 

The late Governor Wise of Virginia used yet more pointed words 
when he said, " Your niggers have skinned the land, and your white 
men have skinned the niggers. " 



86 THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 

All that has passed away. For many years during the period of 
Beconstruction, when the white brain of ihe South which had been in 
rebellion was too long disfranchised, while the then ignorant black 
was charged with the duty of the suffrage, disorder and discredit 
prevailed. That period ended sonxe years since. Progress in agri- 
culture, mechanical arts, mining, and manufactures then began, — at 
first under bad and misdirected efforts. Low prices and other causes 
had brought special discredit upon many parts of the South two or 
three years before the panic due to the silver craze came. This was 
to the great benefit of the South. The people then began to make 
progress from within, rather than depending upon outside capital. 
Hence it happened that the South was in a stronger position, rela- 
tively, than either the North or West when the silver panic ensued. 

Great progress has been made in the reorganization of the colored 
people of the South. Evidence of any kind can be obtained, accord- 
ing to the purpose of the seeker, in regard to the present qualifica- 
tions or disqualifications of the black population of the South ; but 
any one who endeavors to elicit the truth becomes doubtful whether 
any other race except the black race could have sustained itself, 
increased and multiplied under the period of slavery, or would have 
made such progress since emancipation. Every other race has 
vanished from the face of the earth under similar conditions of 
slavery. To the vitality of the blacks has been added the imitative 
faculty and almost a superstition in regard to common education. 
Hence it is doubtful if any other great body of people of any white 
race whatever could ever have made as great progress in individual 
wealth and welfare, and in conquering the long-inherited prejudice of 
those among whom they dwell, compared to that which the blacks of 
the South have already attained. On the other hand, the poor whites 
have come to the front. They had been disqualified by ignorance 
and by the discredit of working on their own behalf in the times of 
slavery. They are gradually surmounting the blunders of the 
Farmers' Alliance, the Populist, and the silver craze. They are 
rapidly learning to renovate the soil which had been " skinned" in 
the days of slavery, and, possessing as they do the control of an 
almost infinite variety of leguminous plants through which the 
nitrogen of the atmosphere can be converted to the nutrition of the 
soil, they are rapidly gaining ascendency, and with that ascendency 
and responsibility they will learn discretion in the control of govern- 
ment. Where their prejudices are still adverse to the colored race 



THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 8? 

they are being met by the influence which the former Confederate 
leaders have rightly gained, by which they are securing the support 
of the black voters without regard to defunct party names. 

The hard times which ensued in South Carolina from the abuses 
of the so-called *' carpet-bag" government, of which the majority of 
the white men in the legislature were Southern bom and Southern 
bred, led to a change under which Gen. Wade Hampton was chosen 
governor. The lesson of the hour was given to me by an old negro 
whom I found alone in charge of the half -finished capitol on my first 
visit to Columbia, S. C. ; of him I asked an explanation. His 
answer was, " Dat's very easy to 'splain, boss; yer canH put ign'ance 
on top o' 'telligence and make it stay dar. " 

Again, in wheat: nothing could have been more wasteful than 
the first methods of dealing with the great wheat lands of the far 
Northwest. They were cropped year after year under a single-crop 
system ; the elements of the soil were slowly but surely exhausted ; 
the straw wasted ; yet enormous profits were gained at the high prices 
which prevailed. With lessening prices the reduction in the cost of 
moving the wheat from the field to the consumers on distances of one 
to five thousand miles, and the application of new inventions to the 
processes of agriculture, enabled this wasteful single-crop system to be 
continued longer than it should have been continued. The panic 
due to the silver craze carried the price of wheat far lower than it had 
ever been before. With what results? A great impetus was given 
to the varied system of agriculture upon which the most intelligent 
farmers had already entered. The all-wheat system yielded ; now, 
under the rotation system, the crop has been kept up in its average 
quantity, varying according to the season, on a lessening area of land. 

A revolution has occurred in milling processes, and it remained 
for the hard times to teach the people of this country a lesson which 
a few had learned in Great Britain, — namely, that wheat is a better 
food and also a cheaper food for stock under many conditions than 
either Indian com or any other kind of grain. That lesson now 
learned is a permanent benefit, bringing stability into the processes 
of Westem agriculture, and hereafter tending to prevent the great 
variations in price which have so frequently marked the varying crops 
of wheat, oats, and Indian com. 

In the manufacturing arts, in metallurgy, and in many mechanic 
arts there have been few periods in which such progress has been 
made in the applications of science and invention to the development 



88 THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 

of each art aa Id the last two years of hard times and low prices. A 
very few old establishments have become bankrupt, — iron furnaces, 
textile factories, and the like, in which the machinery or mechanism 
had not been kept up. A very few strong concerns, which owed a 
little too much on demand, have been temporarily placed in the 
hands of receivers. As a whole, very little disaster, beyond the 
temporary loss of profits, has affected either the mining interests, the 
great machine works, or the textile factories of the North and West. 

The last few years have also been marked by the organization of 
numerous so-called trusts. These organizations are of three kinds. 
One is occupied in the production and distribution of materials which 
must be dealt with on an enormous scale in order that the lowest cost 
may be attained. When these combinations are under the direction 
of men of true insight and capacity, they may justify their existence 
by reducing the cost of the product to the consumers, even though 
they may themselves secure a large profit for a time in thus organiz- 
ing to the mutual benefit of the public and of themselves. Another 
class of trusts consists of those who control patent-rights, — occasionally 
of great value, — more often serving merely to float speculative 
bubbles. The third class is promoted by the speculative persons 
who buy up or obtain bonds for the sale of important manufacturing 
plants which have been successful under individual conduct and con- 
trol, capitalizing, as they call it, these manufacturing plants at twice 
to three times what they would cost, then putting off upon a gullible 
community these so-called " securities. " 

The benefit of the recent hard times has been to expose the 
iniquity of many undertakings of the second and third class. 
Whether the warning will last beyond a few years is doubtful. In each 
generation will be found a body of men of a plausible and to some 
extent able type whose moral sense is obtuse, and who have no sense 
of wrong in promoting these speculative patent bubbles or inflated 
"industrials," as they are called; while, on the other hand, each 
generation produces its proportion of those who are ready to be 
fleeced in their effort to make something out of nothing. Such 
dupes are very apt to be the descendants of men who have penuri- 
ously and laboriously piled up wealth, but whose children, " not hav- 
ing been brought under the healthy stimulus of prospective neces- 
sity, and for whom nothing else has been provided, " lose the property 
with which they have been charged. In many cases this method of 
distribution works a benefit to the community. The property passes 



THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 89 

from the hands of those who have proved to be incapable of making 
a good use of it, while they themselves are sometimes developed into 
active and useful persons under the pressure of the need of working 
which they have brought upon themselves in their eflEort to live on 
profits made at the cost of other people's losses. 

In conclusion it may be held that it is the function of capital to 
bear the brunt of all commercial crises. Capital can wait for favor- 
able changes which laborers must meet at once, and from which many 
may suffer. The burden upon capital is rendered the more severe 
in hard times through the fact that the inventor is the great destroyer 
of capital. Hard times promote invention. That which had been 
previously valuable property is wholly displaced by new inventions 
and new processes, to the end that material progress and general wel- 
fare are more fully promoted by the destruction of property and capi- 
tal through invention than by the accumulation of individual wealth. 
Science and invention add to the common wealth at the cost of the 
individual. Nothing in the way of statistics can be more delusive 
than the efforts which are made to prove the progress of the people 
by the progressive increase in the value of lands and other property 
measured in money. The fact that large areas of farm land upon the 
bleak hills of New England have been abandoned is one of the moat 
conclusive proofs of the progress in intensive agriculture. The fact 
that a lessening number of persons now occupied in agriculture 
develops increasing crops is a proof that we are being spared a 
part of the hard work of providing food, while the mechanism of the 
inventor is being substituted. The hardships to which the few 
laborers are subjected by these changes may be unavoidable. Such 
hardships can be surmounted only by the development of individual 
capacity and aptitude for various work. Through the recent period of 
hard times, brought on by the silver craze and by the danger to the 
credit of the United States, a very large number of persons has been 
deprived of work from the incapacity of Congress. They have suffered 
want in the midst of abundance, — that abundance consisting of idle cap- 
ital waiting for a restoration of confidence in order to be invested so as 
to provide for future wants. This customary and normal investment in 
constructive enterprises was kept back merely by lack of confidence 
in the fiscal legislation of the country. It is now being resumed. 

Great as may have been the number of the unemployed during 
the past two years, that number has yet constituted a very small frac- 
tion of those who are occupied for gain^ the great majority of whom 



90 THE BENEFITS OF HARD TIMES. 

must at all times be continuously employed upon the work by which 
the country lives. A little larger proportion have had their wages 
temporarily cut down. But at least three-quarters of the great body 
of the employed have been, during this very period of so-called 
" hard times, " enjoying higher rates of wages and gaining a better 
subsistence at a lesser cost than ever before. The evidence of this 
can be found, by him who has eyes to see, in the extension of every 
great city, in the multitude of houses of moderate cost, in the 
multiplication of the small industries, in the enormous sale of bicy- 
cles, and in the rapidly extending markets for flowers and other com- 
mon luxuries which the mass of the people now enjoy. 

At the present time a few of the prices of crude materials which 
had been abnormally depressed are being brought back to profitable 
rates ; but the improvement in the methods of converting these crude 
products into their higher forms, which have been forced into action 
by the hard times, will still enable the converters to supply the 
finished goods of many kinds, both in metals, in textiles, and of other 
kinds, at prices very nearly or quite as low as those which were 
reached at the lowest point, yet with a sufficient profit to lead to the 
extension of the works and to make provision for the wants of our 
rapidly increasing population. Never before in the history of any 
country has there been such a complete demonstration of the true rule of 
progress by which society is governed under the law of competition. 
That rule is that in proportion to the increase and effectiveness of capi- 
tal the gross product is augmented ; the share of that product falling 
to the capitalist is also augmented in the aggregate, but is diminished 
relatively to the quantity produced ; the share of that product which 
falls to those who do the direct work is augmented both absolutely 
and relatively. Hence the benefit of hard times will presently be 
further developed under this law, to the end that those who take 
over to themselves the specific title of the " working people" of this 
country will secure to their own use and enjoyment a larger share of 
an increasing product than they ever attained before ; being already 
in the enjoyment of the largest share of the most abundant product 
as compared to all other nations in the so-called civilized world. 
What may be the effect of these progressive conditions of increasing 
welfare upon a country which is now the lightest taxed for national 
purposes of any machine-using nation, the future only can tell. 

Edwabd Atkinson. 



THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OP ENGLISH PAELIAMBNTARY 

DISSOLUTIONS. 

The power which controls the dissolution of the English Parlia- 
ment is supposed theoretically to be the Crown ; but this requires 
explanation. In the practical working of the British Constitution 
there are two operative forces, — Law and Usage ; and Usage is more 
operative than Law. The Crown has, indeed, the power to dissolve 
Parliament at any time, for any good cause ; but inasmuch as the 
Crown has either to act by the advice of Ministers or to find Min- 
isters who will accept responsibility for the acts of the Crown, 
the prerogative of dissolution, unrestricted in theory, is strictly 
limited in practice ; therefore, in the end, it is the Prime Minister 
who "gives the advice," or "takes the permission," to dissolve. 
But as the Prime Minister, if he wishes to continue in public life, 
must find colleagues willing to share responsibility — first to the 
House, and finally to the constituencies — for his acts, his power of 
advising a dissolution is also limited by these considerations, all of 
which are constantly operative. The Prime Minister's mind has to 
be made up, as to the wisdom of dissolution, rather by the influence of 
a great and pressing necessity admitting of no alternative, or by there- 
ports and advice of the party agents. In either case he may be deceived. 

The interest taken in dissolutions of Parliament is no new thing. 
There has never been a time when men were not eager for news of 
such an event. Chief -Justice North, for example, dined with the 
Duke of Lauderdale at Ham about 1680, " when both those council- 
lors were as blown deer and would be glad to have Parliament dis- 
solved ; of which, to say truth, the whole nation was weary. And at 
this time the frost was very sharp and the company at dinner com- 
plained of cold. The Duke turned round, and, looking back toward 
the window, said : * There will be a thaw soon. ' None at table but his 
Lordship guessed his meaning. And so he intended it; for he knew 
that the Parliament would in a few days be dissolved ; but his Lord- 
ship did not tell that he guessed it from that sentence of the Duke's, 
and so it proved accordingly. " Cromwell dissolved his Parliaments 



02 THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OF PARTiTAMKNTABY DISSOLUTIONS. 

without scruple, placing the responsibility, as usual, on Providence — 
" God judge between you and me. " Charles II. dissolved his Parlia- 
ment when it opposed his policy. Of the dissolution which took 
place in 1679, Macaulay writes: — 

''During some weeks the contention over the whole country was fierce 
and obstinate beyond example. Unprecedented sums were expended. New 
tactics were employed. It was remarked by the pamphleteers of that time as 
something extraordinary that horses were hired at a great charge for the con- 
veyance of electors. " 

But we do not begin to take a really keen interest in Parliament- 
ary dissolutions till the beginning of the modern political practice in 
1784. At midnight on December 18, 1783, Mr. Fox and Lord 
North received the King's orders to deliver up the seals of oflBce, 
and to send them in by the Under-Secretaries, since a personal 
interview on the occasion would be disagreeable to His Majesty. On 
the 19th the House of Commons met. Fox and North were in their 
places. It was the custom in those days for Ministers to appear in 
the House in full dress; hence Lord North had hitherto been styled 
" the Noble Lord in the blue ribbon. " On this occasion the badge 
was missing. We read in Pitt's " Life" : 

"There was seen to walk up a young member, Mr. Richard Pepper Arden, 
holding an open paper in his hand, and soon after, rising in his place, he moved 
anew writ for the borough of Appleby, 'in the room of the Right Honorable 
William Pitt, who since his election has accepted the office of First Lord of the 
Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. *" 

So hazardous seemed the venture that we are told this motion was 
received with loud and general laughter on the Opposition side. The 
question of a dissolution at once arose. Pitt could not hope in that 
House to command a majority. Fox and North had from seventy 
to eighty of a majority on which they could depend. " I here de- 
clare," said Fox on this occasion, " that if a dissolution shall take 
place, and if very solid and substantial reasons are not given for it, 
I shall, if I have the honor of a seat in the next Parliament, move 
a very serious inquiry into the business and bring the advisers of it 
to account. " An address against either prorogation or dissolution 
was carried without a division. But neither the King nor Pitt was 
to be bound in this way by a House which, in the judgment of both, 
had ceased to represent the country. Pitt, on being appealed to 
some days later to say whether a dissolution was intended, said, after 
some silence, " I decline to pledge myself to the House that in any 



THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OF PARUAMENTABY DISSOLUTIONS. 93 

possible situation of affairs I would not advise His Majesty to dis- 
solve Parliament. " He continued to combat a weakening opposition 
in Parliament and to acquire a growing popularity in the country. 
On March 23, 1784, he wrote to the Duke of Rutland: 

** Our calculations for the new elections are very favorable and the spirit 
of the people seems still progressive in our favor. " 

On the 24th thieves broke into the Lord Chancellor's room in 
Great Ormond Street and stole the Great Seal. If they were not 
friends of Fox and North, they worked in their favor. By prompt 
measures, and the consent of the King, a new Seal was ordered, which 
was ready next day, as Pitt was determined that what he significantly 
called a " curious manoeuvre" should not succeed. Parliament was 
dissolved on the 25th. " I feel it a duty which I owe to the Consti- 
tution and to the country in such a situation to recur as speedily as 
possible to the sense of my people by calling a new Parliament, " was 
the language of the King. James II. had thought to embarrass his suc- 
cessor by dropping the Great Seal into the Thames. The Opposition 
thieves had tried to prevent a dissolution in a similar manner. Both 
parties were disappointed. When the first fight in the House re- 
garding the dissolution was over, Pitt wrote to the Duke of Eutland : — 

"The Opposition argued everything weakly, and had the appearance of a 
beaten party, which appeared still more on the division, when the members were 
282 to 114. »» 

Regarding these events of 1784, Lord John Russell, in his " Memo- 
rials of Charles Fox," says: — 

" The precedent of 1784, therefore, established the rule of conduct that, if the 
Ministers chosen by the Crown do not possess the confidence of the House of 
Commons, they may advise an appeal to the people, with whom rests the ultimate 
decision. This course has been followed in 1807, in 1881, in 1834, and in 1841." 

The dissolution of 1790, after six years of successful administra- 
tion by Pitt, caused no excitement. " We are daily adding to our 
strength, wealth, and prosperity," said Mr. Pitt, and the country sus- 
tained him in his belief in the success of his administration. When 
the dissolution of 1796 was approaching, Pitt was as strong as ever. 
Fox was still in a hopeless minority ; the division on his motion for 
an address to the Crown condemning the war with France left the 
mover in a minority of 42 to 216. In May the House was dissolved. 
The main interest centred in Fox's election for Westminster, as it 
had on the previous occasion. Pitt was again sustained. When the 
dissolution of 1802 was at hand, the scene had changed and was still 



94 THE ANEGDOTIG SIDE OF PABUAMENTABT DISSOLUTIONS. 

rapidly changing. Seventeen years of power had been well employed 
by the Minister at whom the Opposition had laughed so derisively on 
December 27, 1783. The India Bill had been carried. The war 
with France had been conducted with vigor and success. The trial 
of Warren Hastings had afforded an opportunity for the display of all 
the parliamentary eloquence which England possessed. The legisla- 
tive union with Ireland had been accomplished. In bringing about 
the union Pitt had pledged himself to the Catholic leaders to grant 
them relief from the political disabilities under which they labored. 
The King, however, was obdurate ; and the Minister, finding it not 
possible to fulfil his promise to the Catholic leaders, resigned the 
power he had held so long. The dissolution of 1802 took place 
when Addington was Minister in succession to Pitt. Pitt gave 
Addington the benefit of his loyal support. The Parliament was 
near the end of its term. There were no disturbing questions at 
home. The parties in the political field were the Peace Party, the 
Moderates, and the Ministerial War Party ; and these, at the elections, 
had everything all their own way. 

In 1806, the Grenville Ministry being in power, the Parliament 
was dissolved in order to strengthen the hands of the Ministry in the 
war against France. There was some talk of protests against the 
dissolution. Parliament was only four years old. The Government 
had a good majority, but the Ministry itself was weak; and Mr. 
Walpole, in his "Life of Perceval," says: — 

"The conviction that they could obtain a substantial advantage by a general 
election, overcame their temporary scruples. " 

Lord Grenville assumed the responsibility of advising His Majesty 
to dissolve. " For myself, " he said, " sacred as I hold every preroga- 
tive of the Grown, I feel that His Majesty's servants are answerable 
for the advice which they give His Majesty for the exercise of every 
one of them. " But he defended the particular exercise of the pre- 
rogative of dissolution as follows : — 

" If at any moment of our history the exercise of this prerogative was wise, 
proper, and discreet, it was upon the late occasion, and the Empire has gained 
this g^reat and important advantage from the measure: that the degree of 
unanimity which has been manifested by the people from one end of the Kingdom 
to the other on the subject of the war, and on the determination to persevere in 
the struggle ; on the necessity for vigorous exertions ; and the approbation of the 
steps which have been taken by His Majesty's Oovemraent, — has given streng^ 
confidence, and spirit to the (Government, and has given a noble example to the 
world of the vigor of a people who understand the blessings of independence 
and are determined to maintain them.'' 



THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OF PARLIAMENTARY DISSOLUTIONS. 95 

This was long-winded eloquence, but probably Mr. Walpole's sum- 
mary of the reasons for the dissolution was the more accurate. 

In 1807, although it was the first session of a new Parliament, a 
fresh dissolution was ordered. The King (George III.) had become 
alarmed at the attempt of the Grenville Ministry to weaken his pre- 
rogative in regard to army appointments, and by taking action on 
the Catholic claims; and he dissolved Parliament fourteen months 
after it had been elected, after having first forced his Ministers to 
resign and filled their places with men more willing to give him 
pledges of resistance to the Catholic question. The King^s speech at 
prorogation was prepared by Perceval. The new Ministry had, to 
its own surprise, won a majority of thirty -two on a vote in the 
House; and after this the dissolution was determined on. The 
result was favorable to the new men, and the Opposition were naturally 
very much chagrined. The King was again triumphant over a 
Parliamentary majority which had misunderstood the popular will. 

The dissolution of 1812 is not historical in its character. No 
consideration affecting parties was concerned in it except the tiresome 
affectation of "No Popery." Lord Liverpool evoked a Ministry 
which lasted from 1812 to 1827. Lord Castlereagh, a much misun- 
derstood and much maligned man, became Foreign Minister; Lord 
Elgin took the woolsack; the banner of " No Popery" was flung to 
the winds; and the new Ministry was sustained. Among the men 
defeated on this occasion was William Lamb, the future Lord Mel- 
bourne. The dissolutions of 1818, 1820, and of 1826 offer few 
points worthy ofnotice, though to students of parliamentary history 
those of 1820 and 1830 are interesting on account of their being 
precedents in the old doctrine, now done away with by statute, of 
the dissolution of Parliament on the demise of the Crown. 

In 1831 there began a series of interesting struggles for " Reform. " 
The dissolution of 1831 took place on account of the defeat of Minis- 
ters on the Reform question. " I am not prepared, " said the Duke of 
Wellington in the course of a speech in the Lords, " to bring forward 
any measure of this nature, but I will at once declare that, as far as 
1 am concerned, as long as I hold any station in the government of 
the country, I shall always feel it my duty to resist such measures 
when proposed by others. " On the same night Brougham gave notice 
of a motion on Reform. On the 15th of November the Government of 
Wellington and Peel was defeated, and on the next day they announced 
their resignation. Lord Grey's administration followed. Its early 



96 THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OF PARLIAMENTARY DISSOLUTIONS. 

stages are marked by the struggles of Brougham for the woolsack. 
" The Bar laughed ; Mr. Sugden sneered ; and King William IV. , 
who had occasional glimpses of political forecast, assented not with- 
out reluctance. " The new Government of Earl Grey made a first 
attempt at a Reform Bill, but was defeated twice between the 19th and 
21st April. They advised a dissolution. The King, after some hesita- 
tion, consented, and even went down to the Lords and dissolved Parlia- 
ment in the midst of a debate on a motion against dissolution, — so very 
close to our own time was this very remarkable exercise of prerogative. 

In 1832 there was another dissolution, though only a year had 
elapsed since the last. Lord Grey's Ministry having passed a Reform 
Bill in the Commons, the Lords threw it out. " Perhaps the Lords 
who formed the majority," says Mr. Spencer Walpole in his "Life 
of Lord John Russell," "failed to see the full significance of the 
division. It brought the country to the verge of civil war. " The 
Ministers advised the King to create as many new peers as would 
carry the bill through the Lords. The King, however, shrank from 
the alternative. The Duke of Wellington attempted to form an 
administration and failed. Lord Grey was recalled. Permission 
was finally given to Lord Grey to nominate enough peers to carry 
the bill; and he was prepared to act on this permission. But the 
King, to avoid this unpleasant necessity, wrote a letter advising the 
acceptance of the bill ; and the Duke of Wellington exerted his in- 
fluence with the Peers; the result was that enough stayed away from 
the division to enable the bill to go through. Parliament was then 
dissolved in order to enable the newly created constituency to exercise 
the franchise for the first time. The Ministry was of course sustained. 

Two years later, in 1834, Sir Robert Peel obtained power to dis- 
solve. The circumstances were these: The King (William IV.) 
had no confidence in Lord Melbourne and wanted to get rid of him. 
Lord Althorpe was leading the lower House for Melbourne, but his 
father's death removed him to the House of Lords. Lord Melbourne 
proposed to supply his place by means of Lord John Russell. The 
King refused this proposition, having said that he " could not bear 
John Russell." "And so," says Mr. Walpole, "to bring a long 
story to a short conclusion, the King, exercising his personal author- 
ity in a manner which the sovereign of England has never since 
employed, dismissed his advisers and sent for the Duke of Wellington. 
The Duke advised the King to send for Peel, but Peel found that he 
could not control the existing House of Commons and asked for a 



THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OF PARLIAMENTARY DISSOLUTIONS. 97 

dissolution. Parliament was accordingly dissolved on December 30, 
1834, in order to obtain a House that would give the King's new 
Ministers 'a fair trial.' Peel was strengthened, but not sustained, at 
the elections. He was beaten in the Commons on the election of a 
Speaker, and an amendment to the Address condemned the Ministry on 
the ground that the progress of Beform should not have been inter- 
rupted and endangered by the unnecessary dissolution of Parliament. " 

The death of William IV. and the accession of Queen Victoria 
necessitated a new appeal to the electors by Lord Melbourne in 1837. 
^ As far as I can calculate, " wrote the Secretary of the Treasury to Lord 
John Russell on July 5, " I think we shall gain by the dissolution 
to the extent of twenty or thirty. In Ireland we shall gain, I think, 
eight, and perhaps twelve; in Scotland, ten; in England from fifteen 
to twenty. " But the results did not fulfil this anticipation. In Eng- 
land the Ministers lost considerably ; in Scotland they won heavily ; 
and Ireland sent seventy-three Ministerialists out of a hundred and 
five members. The elections had been fiercely contested. " It is 
amusing, " says Greville, " to see both parties endeavoring to avail 
themselves of the Queen's name, the Tories affecting to consider her 
as a prisoner in the hands of the Whigs, and the Whigs boasting of 
the cordiality and warmth of her sentiments in their favor. " 

In 1841 the House was dissolved again. The Whig Government, 
which had been weakening, was defeated by a majority of one. A 
dissolution was procured by the defeated Ministers who, cleverly 
enough, in one way, shifted the ground of political discussion from 
the question of " confidence" to the question of a fixed duty on corn. 
Mr. Trevelyan, in his " Life of Macaulay," writes: — 

''There could be but one issue to a general election which followed such a 
aession, and but one fate in store for a party whose leaders were fain to have 
lecoorBe to so feeble and perfunctory a cry. " 

The Whigs were defeated, and Peel was in office again. 

In 1847 it was Lord John Kusseirs turn to dissolve. The Par- 
liament of 1841, — which had been elected to confirm and organize 
Protection and had adopted Free Trade ; which had first chosen Peel 
above Bussell and had ended by putting Russell above Peel, — ^was 
drawing to a close. When Lord John was elected, we read in his 
" Life" : " When the children heard and understood the news, their 
spirits rose to the highest pitch. They danced, hurrahed, put a big 
?nreath on John's b^d^ md sang 'See the conquering hero.'" 
7 



98 THE ANECDOHO SIDE OF PARLIAMENTARY DISSOLUTIONS. 

In 1852 neither the Government nor the Opposition was well 
oi^anized. Loi-d Derby took office early in 1852 with an acknowl- 
edged minority in the lower House. He avowed that it was his 
policy to re-impose a protective duty on com, after having taken the 
opinion of the country. Parliament was dissolved on July 1, 1852, 
the result being a defeat, though not a conclusive one till Parliament 
met. Then the Government was defeated on Disraeli's Budget, and 
had to resign. Mr. Bussell, in his " Life of Gladstone, " condemns 
Disraeli's Budget speech on this occasion, both as to matter and man- 
ner; but Lord Macaulay, Lord Malmesbury, and Mr. Buxton in his 
" Finance and Politics, " praise it highly ; the balance of opinion 
seems to be in favor of Disraeli's ability on the occasion. 

In 1859 a " want of confidence" motion having been carried 
against the Derby -Disraeli Government, the Ministers determined to 
dissolve and notice was given of the intention on this occasion. In 
reply to Lord Palmerston, Lord Derby demanded where any authority 
could be found to justify any restriction upon the prerogative of the 
Crown to dissolve Parliament at any time and upon any occasion. 
Lord Palmerston in reply acknowledged the right of Government to 
dissolve, saying, " We recognize the right of the Crown upon any occa- 
sion to appeal from the House of Commons to the country. " He, 
however, asserted the right of the House to protest against dissolution, 
so as to avoid inconveniences in the public business. But on previous 
occasions the Crown did not listen to such protests, and on one occa- 
sion, as has been seen, stopped a debate in the Lords, in order to ac- 
complish a dissolution against which they were engaged in protesting. 

The dissolution of 1865 was had by Ministers on the singular 
ground stated by Mr. Walpole in his " Life of Lord John Kussell" : — 

** The Ministers were anxious that the dissolution should take place while 
the country was fresh from the spectacle of their leader displaying night after 
night the elasticity of youth beneath the weight of years. The Parliament was 
dissolved in July, and tiie elections which immediately f oUowed showed that his 
colleagues had not exaggerated the effect of Lord Palmerston 's popularity." 

The victory of July was followed by the disaster of October. The 
elastic constitution of Palmerston broke down under the strain of the 
elections, and he died. 

In 1868, Mr. Disraeli being Premier, and the Government having 
been defeated in the Commons, the Premier proposed to the Queen 
that he resign, or that she give him a dissolution. The Queen offered 
him the dissolution. Mr. Disraeli, in making the announcement, 



THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OF PABUAMENTABY DISSOLUTIONS. 99 

stated that he had advised that the appeal should be made to the new 
constituency created by the Reform Bill of 1867. By consent of 
both parties it was agreed that the new Ministers should hold office 
till the new constituencies were organized. On this occasion some 
noteworthy points were raised. In the first place, it was contended 
that the dissolution was a ^* penal" one inflicted on the House because 
of its defeat of the Disraeli Administration. In the next place it 
was singular to see a Government defeated on one ground appeal- 
ing to the country against the policy of its opponents on another, — 
the Irish Church. In the third place, for more than six months the 
government of the country had been carried on by compromise until 
both parties were ready for a fight, the Ministry being unable to 
control the House, and the Opposition being unwilling to turn out 
the Ministry. Finally, when the dissolution took place and the 
Disraeli party was defeated, Mr. Disraeli established the unusual 
course of resigning office without waiting for the meeting of Parlia- 
ment, — a transfer of immediate power from the House to the elec- 
torate which marked a great stride forward — or backward — ^in politi- 
cal practice. Mr. Disraeli thus defended this line of conduct : — 

** We felt that this course waa due to our own honor ; to the personal conven- 
ience of the sovereign and the progress of public business ; and lastly due to the 
incoming Minister that he should not be thrust into office without time to pre- 
pare his measures." 

Not one of these reasons would bear close examination. The personal 
honor of Ministers would not have sufiEered if they had waited for the 
meeting of Parliament whose committee they were. The personal con- 
venience of the sovereign could not have been disarranged if the rou- 
tine of administration went on. There was no public business which 
had not been duly provided for by the passing of the estimates. And 
an *' incoming Minister" might at any time, as in the case of Lord Salis- 
bury at the present time, have to take office at a couple of days' notice. 
In 1874 Mr. Gladstone was supposed to have exercised the power 
of dissolution without consulting his colleagues. There are reasons 
now for doubting that statement. In his speech in the House of 
Commons after the elections, Mr. Gladstone took occasion to hint that 
he had a principal though not exclusive responsibility for the dis- 
solution. The announcement was made publicly on a Monday, but 
was known to the management of the London " Spectator" on Friday 
evening, and was mentioned in its issue of Saturday. Mr. Gladstone 
therefore must have consulted and must have trusted somebody. 



100 THE ANECDOTIC SIDE OF PARLIAMENTARY DISSOLUTIONS. 

The vote of the people was adverse to him, and, following the example 
of Mr. Disraeli, he resigned office before the House met. On the 
meeting of the new Parliament, complaint was made by a private 
member regarding the sudden dissolution; but there was little debate 
and no division, and the power of putting Ministers out of office 
passed more completely than ever into the hands of the people. 

In 1880 Mr. Disraeli, feeling after six years of power that he 
might be still strong enough to go to the people, dissolved Parlia- 
ment. The announcement on this occasion was made to Parliament 
and was carried into effect after the Chancellor of the Exchequer had 
made his financial statement. The result was fatal to Lord Beacons- 
field. We all know now that the confidence with which the Con- 
servatives went to the country in 1880 was ill-judged, and was not 
wholly shared in by Lord Beaconsfield. The secession of Lord Derby 
and Lord Carnarvon had weakened the Administration by giving an 
air of adventurousness and danger to the foreign policy from which 
these types of " prudent" statesmen dissented. Sir Stafford North- 
cote tells us that the publication of " Endymion" had injured Lord 
Beaconsfield in the eyes of the Nonconformists. The Irish electorate 
was strongly organized on hostile lines. Mr. Gladstone's tours in the 
country had roused much fervor for the "Grand Old Man." And 
the end, as we have said, was the defeat of the Conservatives. 

In 1885 there was another change. Foreign affairs are always 
dangerous to Liberal administrations, which are too apt to be influ- 
enced by commercial considerations of immediate importance, and by 
humanitarian considerations which are often of no importance at all. 
The great Powers had become unfriendly to Great Britain. Khartoum 
had fallen, and Gordon had been slain ; and public feeling had not 
been improved by the insinuation that the man whom the Tories 
called a " martyr" was only a madman after all. Lord Eandolph 
Churchill, with a furious zeal, was making successful attacks on the 
Administration. Finally the Ministry was defeated on the cliarac- 
teristically British item of the duty on spirits and beer, and was 
forced to resign. The dissolution took place in the autumn, and was 
followed by a boisterous campaign. All the elements of Liberal 
agitation were roused to fury. Badical pledges of " three acres and 
a cow" to every agricultural laborer w6re scattered. Home Rule for 
Ireland, though not actually on the official programme, was pledged 
in many places. Mr. Gladstone kept himself free from pledges of any 
sort till it became obvious that pledges of some sort were required to 



TEffi ANECOXynO SIDE OF PARLIAMENTARY DISSOLUTIONS. 101 

put him into office. The Conservatives clung to office very properly 
for 0ome months, till in fact Mr. Gladstone found a sure opportunity 
of overturning them by counting on the vote of the Irish members 
en masse. Then he gave the necessary indications of his " life-long 
convictions" in favor of Home Kule, and the Conservatives were de- 
feated in the House of Commons on January 25, 1886, by a major- 
ity of 79, 74 being Irish members. 

On February 6, 1886, Mr. Gladstone was again Prime Minister. 
The secession of the Liberal Unionists, which will probably form an 
important event in British politics, now began. Lord Hartington 
and Mr. Chamberlain, in refusing to follow the lead of Mr. Gladstone 
in Irish affairs, rendered his most strenuous labors in that cause use- 
less, and in the end put a period to the power of the Liberals. But 
unless the alliance is cemented by stronger ties than appear to exist, 
the same influence may, as the result of the same differences of opin- 
ion and object, put an end in turn to the power of the Tories. Lord 
Salisbury and Mr. Chamberlain have each much to ignore and forget 
before there can be absolute alliance between them. 

The life of the new Ministry of 1886 was short. Taking office 
in February, it was defeated in June, on the second reading of Mr. 
Gladstone's Home Rule Bill, by a vote of 343 to 313, a majority of 
30. The Unionist Liberals mustered 93 in the division lobby, and 
thus asserted a power which could no longer be denied, and which 
Mr. Gladstone has not been able, except in a few cases, to conciliate. 
The defeat was followed by a dissolution ; and the majority of the 
Tories was increased to 113 in the new House of Commons. 

The stormy career of the Conservative administration will not 
soon be forgotten. The early portion of it was marked by the dazzl- 
ing career of Lord Randolph Churchill, as leader of the House and 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and by his disastrous resignation a 
few months after, which gave the first sign of a mental deterioration 
which had its final issue in his melancholy death. Later on, after 
an interval of safe mediocrity in the leadership of Mr. W. H. 
Smith, Mr. Balfour came to the front as Irish Secretary, and has 
since maintained, by sheer intellectual power, a lead which must end 
in the Premiership. The startling events which led to the Pamell 
Commission, the agitations in Ireland, and the Bering Sea controversy, 
were the most memorable events of the Conservative administration. 
An Irish Local Government Bill was carried in the House to a second 
reading, but dropped at that stage in view of the general elections; 



103 THE ANECDOTIC SmE OP PARLIAMENTARY DISSOLUTIONS. 

and an Agricultural Holdings Bill, intended to encourage the creation 
of small freeholders in England, became law. The majority of the 
Government having been reduced by defections and by elections, 
and Lord Salisbury having made fervent and even furious appeals to 
the Ulster vote, which was his already, Parliament was dissolved at 
the end of June, and polling began on July 5, 1892. 

The first day's polling resulted in a Liberal gain; and at the end 
of the fight the Gladstonians had a majority of 40. The fact that 
England itself elected as many as 197 men pledged to Home Bule was 
very remarkable. There was indeed a majority of 71 against Home 
Bule in England ; but the wonder was that out of 465 members the 
majority should have been so small. Lord Salisbury did not think 
the majority against him so conclusive as to demand an immediate 
resignation and he determined to meet Parliament in due course. 
A motion of want of confidence was moved by Mr. Asquith, and 
after three nights of memorable debate the Gladstonians carried it 
by their full majority, and Mr. Gladstone was again Prime Minister. 

To have carried on the business of Parliament with so small a 
majority for three years shows great capacity and considerable luck ; 
and the wonder is greater when we reflect on the exceptional charac- 
ter of some of the measures introduced. To have passed a Home 
Bule Bill through the House of Commons ; to have inaugurated a 
dangerous agitation against the House of Lords ; to have suffered the 
loss of Mr. Gladstone; to have borne up so long under the unpopu- 
larity arising from a decaying agriculture and an increasing want of 
employment among the operative classes even in the manufacturing 
towns ; to have withstood the intrigues and aggressions of the Badicals 
during the whole period — these things show that there was a reserve 
of strength and skill and statesmanship among Mr. Gladstone's and 
Lord Bosebery's following. Lord Bosebery carries that reserve into 
opposition, and we may look forward to a short period of active 
parliamentary tactics followed by a fresh change in the Masters 
of the Empire. The days of long Administrations seem to have 
passed everywhere. In an empire so wide these changes do not 
seriously affect the interests of the people at large. To an inhabitant 
of the Boman Provinces it mattered very little whether one Emperor 
or another reigned in Bome. To a citizen of the British Empire it 
matters not much in Vancouver or Australia whether Salisbury or 
Bosebery holds the helm of state at Westminster. 

Mabtin J. Griffin. 



UNSANITAKY SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 

The public schools have always been a fascinating subject for 
me, and I was therefore much pleased when I was appointed secretary 
of Good Government Club C*s Committee on Public Schools of New 
York. The province of this committee, as a body, was simply to 
investigate and report on educational matters in the Twenty-second 
Ward, but our individual explorations were carried into a more 
extensive territory. Thus most of the city schools have come under 
the personal observation of the committee. The best and the worst 
examples were visited, presenting a descending scale, from the 
excellently disciplined No. 45 in Twenty-fourth Street, and No. 
67, a superb structure in Forty-sixth Street, to the wretched ac- 
commodations for 768 poor children who are instructed over the 
offensive live-chicken market in Essex Street, and the dark, un- 
furnished rooms in Allen Street where the pupils study on their 
knees. The chairman. Dr. Taylor, and I journeyed together, and 
considered the condition of affairs from the physician's standpoint, 
viewing the schools both externally and internally, and spending 
from two hours to an entire day upon each one visited. 

Externally, most of the schools appear well enough; though it 
must be confessed that many windows are darker with dirt than an 
orderly housekeeper would permit; but, with the hundreds and hun- 
dreds of panes, it is almost impossible for the janitor to keep all 
constantly polished. Still this is an important matter, for any diminu- 
tion of light causes more or less strain on the many eyes within. The 
front walks and approaches are fairly well kept. Architecturally the 
buildings are formed like the capital letter " I, " single or duplicated. 
The disadvantages of this construction are plain when one enters the 
yards between the front and rear, finding oneself in something very 
similar to a large square well, with a urinal and water-closet at its 
bottom, and with its fourth side usually closed by a tall tenement run- 
ning from wing to wing. In such courts the children take their runs 
in the " fresh air. " The play-rooms are under the main building. 

At present, the new annex to No. 68 in West Fifty-second Street 



104 UNSANITARY SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 

is being walled in by a row of tenements. No. 17, in West Forty- 
seventh Street, has its rear rooms so darkened by the proximity of such 
tall houses that, except on the brightest days, gas must be burned 
in the Primary department, adding its impurities to the atmosphere 
and exhausting the oxygen from an air-space already too meagre. 
No. 84: has for its neighbor a sausage-factory and smoking-establish- 
ment. Several others derive their ozone from winds which neces- 
sarily blow directly over abutting stables, and No. 58 raises serious 
objections to the noise and sights in the rear yard of a veterinary 
college. The law regulating the distance of liquor-stores from 
schools must be a dead letter, for in the Twenty-second Ward it 
suffices to mention that Nos. 69, 58, and 67 all have saloons just 
across the street, — the latter, in Fortyrsixth Street near Sixth Avenue, 
having three within a very short distance. 

The yards are paved with stone or concrete and are damp, because 
the sun is partially or totally excluded, and the chilly vault-like 
sensation that comes over one promises to make good the old Spanish 
proverb, " Where the sun never enters, the physician must. " In out- 
of-the-way corners small mounds of ice and snow were found ; these, 
gradually melting, caused small streams that trickled across the pave- 
ment to the cesspool -opening and evaporated on their course, thereby 
increasing the moisture in the air. At one side of each yard may be 
seen the closets, and, in boys' schools, the urinal. These are ventilated 
by skylights and by long galvanized pipes running to the roof of the 
main building. The west closet in No. 17 has a brick chimney- 
ventilator, built only a little higher than the next house instead of 
being continued above the school itself. It is quite evident that, 
with our prevalent west winds, the air emerging from its top must be 
blown directly across the yard and into the upper class-room windows. 
The floor of the urinals is made of stone or slate and is constantly 
wet. I have never seen any attempt made at swabbing the floor, 
and so I conclude that the usual practice is to let it alone until it dries, 
or at any rate until after school hours. The janitors assert that it is 
perfectly useless to try to prevent this evil. Every boy who passes 
into one of these places must return to his class-room with the soles 
of his shoes soaking, and must let them dry as they will. In the 
water-closet there is an automatic " Mott" affair, which is supposed 
to cleanse itself by flushing at intervals, varying according to the 
amount of water furnished. Often the troughs are dry, or are 
washed out imperfectly and infrequently. They are constructed of 



UNSANITARY SCHOOM AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 105 

enamelled iron; but the enamel is worn off in spots, leaving 
roughened and oxidized surfaces which produce a chronic state of 
filth. Inadequate water-supply I found very general, due, in some 
places, to the peculiarity of the closets themselves, and in others to 
the fact that the same pipe supplied both building and closet and was 
too small for the work demanded. 

No. 17 possesses a closet over a tank which is filled by a faucet 
and emptied by the janitor every day. This is crude and old- 
fashioned, but it is less of an eyesore than the rusty, scaling, 
enamelled, and soiled conduits of the expensive " automatics. " No. 

67 is a new school, the closets of which have been recently com- 
pleted. The troughs are dry and present patches of fcRces, In No. 

68 the west yard closets have just been finished and do not clean 
themselves. To sum up, I have not found a single closet in good 
order. The general impression among sanitarians and plumbers is 
that the " automatics" are intrinsically wrong, and that they should 
be discarded. The sum of $110,000 is asked this year for sanitary 
work in old buildings, but we found that the new ones required quite 
as much renovation. It would be good economy to establish these 
matters rightly in the first instance and cease the endless tinkering 
now going on. A first-class sanitary engineer, with a proper appro- 
priation, would be a valuable addition to the Board of Education; 
but we must never lose sight of the idea that much of the present 
disgraceful condition is due to the fact that the public never sees and 
consequently makes no fuss about improper school sanitation. 

The play -rooms are usually board-floored rooms running under the 
schools from the janitor's apartments in front to the rear wall. These 
rooms require ceaseless vigilance to maintain them in presentable con- 
dition. Scraps of paper, portions of lunches, and the dust from hun- 
dreds of shoes, are carried in and dropped. On seeing one of these 
floors swept, it is hard to believe that it has been carefully cleaned once 
or oftener within twenty-four hours. A few schools have galvanized 
cans standing in accessible places, and the children are drilled into 
such neat habits that nothing is thrown down haphazard. The 
cleaners say that the rooms are appreciably cleaner since the advent 
of the new Street Cleaning Department. Less mud is brought in, 
and less dust blown in. The difference is so great as to be marked 
in the dust-pans, but the cloud that rises from sweeping is still appal- 
ling; it escapes, rises, and enters the windows, diminished in volume, 
but deleterious to inhale and sufficient to make pupils cough. It 



106 UNSANITARY SCHOOM AND PUBUO INDIFFERENCE. 

can be mitigated by sprinkling, but the sun only glances over a few 
square feet, and if the floor is sprinkled every day the dampness be- 
comes equally mischievous. 

The janitor's apartments are usually on the ground floor, and a 
disadvantage in having a family living in the school building is the 
necessity of closing the entire institution in case of contagious dis- 
ease in their quarters. On the whole it is desirable to have the 
janitor live elsewhere and enter the school on business only. In 
the eyes of the Commissioners the janitor appears to be a more im- 
portant personage than the teacher. A trustee can dismiss a teacher ; 
but it requires both inspectors and trustees to turn away a janitor. 
I was told of instances where the janitor made it uncomfortable for 
painters, steam -fitters, and carpenters by refusing to open the door, 
by disturbing tools and utensils, and in many petty ways, until a 
douceur was tendered. In many schools the metal tops of steam radi- 
ators are missing. No. 17 has but few left. I had the curiosity to 
ask a helper where the tops were. He replied with a broad brogue 
and subtle wink, *^ Ask the two J's, the Janitor and the Joonkman." 
The janitor also has his troubles. He complains about the grain- 
scoops substituted for coal -scoops — and about the glued brushes 
(which fall apart with wetting) furnished by the " Supply Com- 
mittee, " instead of good wired articles. 

The visitors' staircase is fireproof only in the newest schools, and 
our Committee was so struck with its insecurity and the general rattle- 
trap character of everything in No. 17, that we all felt that the build- 
ing should be torn down and replaced by a modem structure before 
a holocaust startled the city with the number of its innocent victims. 

I now come to the internal arrangements of the schools. We 
were usually ushered into the " assembly-room" and into the presence 
of the Principal. This assembly-room is either on the top or the third 
floor in the Grammar department, and on the second floor in the 
Primary department. It is occupied by four or more classes of from 
60 to 70 pupils each, only partially separated by curtains. Aside 
from the unsatisfactory results of instruction when the scholar hears 
the voices of several teachers simultaneously, these curtains are 
veritable fomites. Many children in the early stages of scarlatina, 
diphtheria, tuberculosis, and other contagious and infectious diseases, 
have sat within these cloth enclosures. The screens should prove a 
mine of micro-organisms on bacteriological examination. With the 
great tenacity of life which scarlet-fever poison possesses, it would be 



UNSANITARY SCHOOM AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 107 

difficult to imagine better storehouses than these porous woollen walls. 
The furniture is only fair. Its position could be and should be 
changed in many rooms, where the cross-lights are very trying even 
to the casual visitor. Sometimes light is admitted from the left, 
sometimes from the right, and occasionally from the front. The 
consequence is that normal eyes are becoming the exception. Ample 
blackboard space, for good class drill, is seldom seen. Many 
boards, supplied for a room containing 50 or more pupils, do not ex- 
ceed two or three square yards of total surface, though occasionally 
they are large enough to permit half a dozen to work at once. The 
pencils and paper are satisfactory only for part of the session, the prin- 
cipals and teachers complaining that supplies and stationery which are 
fair from September to January fall more and more below the standard 
of the samples furnished from*January to July. The unclean slate 
and sponge are disappearing from the higher grades. The Primary 
scholars still expectorate to moisten sponges, lick their pencils, and 
go through other very unsanitary performances. The children's 
wraps in No. 17 are hung up in several class-rooms without cover- 
ing. If wet, they remain po, as they are placed one over the other. 
There is always present a possibility of infection. 

The children have pale faces. They are so anaemic that sunlight 
seems a crying need of city civilization. They leave the school at 
three o'clock, and it would be merciful in the short winter days to 
avoid lessons to be learned at home. Either abolish text-books and 
have the teaching wholly didactic, or have all study performed at the 
school. Most teachers will accept this suggestion, as they know by 
long experience that anything conned away from their supervision 
must often be unlearned with labor and pains. Give the children 
more fresh-air, and their bodies and brains will improve together. 
At present the appearance and health of the little ones are just what 
might be expected from growing children whose play-ground is a 
species of unsanitary cellar. They are overcrowded also. The al- 
lotted air-space is from 70 to 100 cubic feet for each individual ac- 
cording to size and grade. This is too limited and should be 
doubled, or even trebled in those rooms so dark as to require several 
gas-lights. It is no marvel that children are bleached, pinched, deli- 
cate, and bloodless, and in condition to yield to the onset of either 
pulmonary or osseous tuberculosis. 

The overwhelming applications for admission to some of the 
schools have necessitated putting three scholars on two seats. Be- 



108 UNSANITARY SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 

tween the chairs is a separation of 2^ inches, and the child in the 
centre often acquires a prolapsus am or a crop of haemorrhoids. 
This was tried in No. 61 in West Forty -fourth Street, and in No. 
46 in St. Nicholas Avenue. Orders have now been issued forbid- 
ding the practice because of its results. Owing to the shrinkage in 
accommodation the youngest applicants are forced to remain out; 
and No. 94, last session, refused 506, of whom only 28 were under 
six years of age. As a sample neighborhood consider Fifty-eighth 
to Sixty-eighth Street from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson Biver. 
The schools in this district are No. 41 in West Fifty -eighth Street, 
the parochial school of the Paulist Fathers in West Fifty-ninth Street, 
and No. 94 in West Sixty-eighth Street. All are overflowing, and 
the children of Eleventh and lower West End Avenues have no school 
whatever and are acquiring their education in the streets. A large 
Primary school somewhere on West End Avenue is urgently needed 
for the thousand or more little ones who cannot be taken into the 
other schools. The lots are still vacant, and the children are grow- 
ing up in evil and ignorance because of that waiting policy of the 
Board of Education which caused it, in Fifty-fourth Street, finally 
to pay as much for one lot as it needed to have done for three 
a few years previous. It is not pleasant to think of the stables, 
sausage-factories and pie-bakeries, nor of the tall tenements that 
shut off light and air, when a very small outlay could have secured 
ample adjacent property ; yet even in the light of past experience 
little or nothing is being done to prevent a repetition of the same 
nuisances. 

As regards books, the curriculum appears to be changing, and 
teachers are looking forward to better things. New text-books are 
being prepared; but one on Physiology has caused a small tempest of 
opposition. It seems to deal finally with doubtful questions, as they 
all do. Articles on " Alcohol, " " Opium, " and " Tobacco" are written 
with a distinctness and plausible exactitude surprising to a physician 
who in his daily clinical experience has seen almost every extreme 
positive statement refuted. Abuse of any or all three is mentally 
or morally ruinous, sooner or later; but I should long hesitate be- 
fore settling definitely for all people, under all circumstances, what 
constitutes use or what abuse, and I could never truthfully state that 
all are unqualifiedly bad. The plates in previous works adapted 
to common-school use have been very deceptive, so much so that a 
whole class once told me that the femoral artery was larger than the 



UNSANITARY SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 109 

biceps femoris. The teacher supposed it to be about the size of a 
" garden hose" ! Let us hope that the work finally adopted will be 
accurate in text and illustration, and not teach facts which the child 
in a few years will discover to be false. 

The schools are under the direct supervision of the Board of 
Trustees of the ward. This method of government originated when 
Manhattan Island was a series of small villages, but in this day of 
rapid transit and telephonic communication it appears out of date and 
needlessly cumbersome. At present there are only eleven schools in 
the first six wards of New York, yet twenty-eight trustees are appointed 
to watch over their interests. The Twelfth Ward alone has twenty- 
three schools, and five trustees are deemed adequate. The Third 
Ward has no schools at all, yet it has a board of four trustees who 
meet the last Thursday of every month at the address of its chair- 
man. They are supposed to assemble in a school-building. In this 
case the building is lacking, but the Board is in evidence. They 
must have expenses. What can they find to do? Is it enough to 
warrant the city in purchasing one postal card for them ? The Annual 
Beport of the Board of Education gives the rather surprising in- 
formation that a teacher's salary of $145.83 was paid in this ward 
last year. The trustees all serve without pay, but that they receive 
no perquisites is at least open to doubt. Expenses are charged to the 
Committee on Supplies, and it is difficult to discover the actual cost 
of maintaining this antiquated system. The positions are sought by 
men with political influence who are not as a rule anxious to give time 
and services for nothing. In response to personal inquiry they have 
told me that " their office is an honorable one, " and that " it is a step- 
ping-stone to something higher. " I soon learned that men feared their 
power and dared not openly corroborate assertions frankly made to me 
in confidence. Bumors came to me (with names) of money paid 
by teachers, painters, carpenters, plumbers, and especially steam- 
fitters, to secure appointments or work. Our committee found that 
when a school changed its trustee the various repairers were changed 
with him. Expenses for buildings, furnishings, heating-apparatus, 
rents, etc., for last year were $1,500,000, — "sundries" amounting 
to $30,000. The trustees have power to pay any bill of less than 
$200 without a written report. They have also the distribution of 
patronage and the power of appointing and removing teachers. The 
arbitrary nature of their rule is shown by an instance, occurring under 
my own observation, from which I first learned that Civil Service 



110 UNSANITARY SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 

rules had nothing to do with our school system, and that merit, ability, 
and long and faithful service were easily discounted by plain " pull. " 
The trustees of the Twenty-second Ward are composed of three 
Tammany men, one Democrat, and one Eepublican. On any impor- 
tant matter there is a 3 to 2 vote. One of the trio, to pay oflE a 
political debt, nominated a certain teacher for the Principalship in a 
Primary department. The nominee had no experience in Primary 
work, whereas the rightful claimant had devoted twenty -five years to 
conscientious labor in that field. The Democrat and Bepublican 
brought in a minority protest. The whole scheme seemed so unjust 
that the Commissioners refused to confirm the nomination. Then 
the three conspirators indorsed another candidate, apparently on reli- 
gious grounds. This second unfair arrangement failed. As a last 
resort they resolved to make transfers and changes, — a political shuffle 
by which the apparent victor was to become a victim. Meanwhile 
some new Commissioners had been appointed, who, learning of the 
true state of affairs, caused the trustees a very unpleasant quarter 
of an hour. 

How can all this be improved? A good corps of window -cleaners 
going from school to school could improve the illumination of the 
rooms if they were held strictly accountable for their work and its 
results. It would be wise to secure adjoining lots now, for every 
school, even if the buildings that deprive the yards of sunlight and 
purifying winds must be torn down. The automatic water-closet 
should be removed, and some clean, economical, sanitary apparatus 
supplied, and the defects in ventilation should be remedied. The 
needs of the schools are the result of twenty years of neglect, and are 
so numerous that it is difficult to select the most urgent. Perhaps 
the most obvious is an asphalt pavement before every building. Our 
chairman wrote to the Department of Public Works about this, and 
learned in reply that nothing could be done for one school at a time, 
but that when money was supplied for fixing all, then all could be 
done at once. I have seen one teacher made voiceless and many 
made hoarse by the constant shouting necessitated by the sounds 
reflected from opposite buildings into the open windows during 
warm weather. If one stands on the front sidewalk the noise is not 
so intense ; but in the front class-rooms of No. 94 or Ko. 41 one 
cannot make oneself heard at a distance of ten feet during the pass- 
ing of a laden truck or rattling grocer's wagon. Ordinarily one 
cannot find ten consecutive minutes during school hours when the 



UNSAinTABT SCHOOLS AND PUBUC INDIFFERENCB. Ill 

maddening hammer, crash, and bang are silent. As the normal eye 
is being dimmed by bad lighting, so the normal ear is being blunted 
and the normal voice mined by harmful and unnecessary noises, to 
say nothing of the increase of nervous diseases from the same causes. 
The school yards should be paved with asphalt, less on account 
of sound than as a protection against dampness. Asphalt is much 
drier than stone or concrete, — that is, it is not such an accumulator 
of the water of condensation. Enough schools should be erected to 
do away with the necessity for any classes in the assembly-room, 
and its curtains. In every building there should be plenty of well- 
ventilated clothing -closets in the halls, enough to furnish each pupil 
with a separate peg or rack. The furniture should be arranged with 
due regard to light and to the size of the pupils. In a case reported 
by Dr. Taylor, a young girl was brought to him with a lateral spinal 
curvature. On questioning her he discovered that her classroom was 
furnished with small desks, — a whole grade of young women being 
seated and working at desks which made an upright position impossible. 
The Principal, acknowledging the justice and frequency of complaints, 
said that the matter could not be remedied, and the girl had to be re- 
moved from school. It would seem a small thing to ask for a change 
of furniture if the ruined health of growing women is the alternative. 

More attention should be paid to the bodies of the pupils. The 
so-called " setting up" military exercises just being introduced are 
most excellent, and their widespread use is to be commended. Calis- 
thenics for girls are excellent for the carriage and general develop- 
ment, and some system like the Turners' should be part of the daily 
routine. It would seem very natural to consult the teachers in regard 
to what books are best for their work, and to have them make written 
suggestions of improvement, without fear or favor. But how can 
the authorities have any regard for their opinion, when it is mani- 
fested every day that the parents are quite indifferent as to what is 
being taught? Principals are allowed three days in each year for the 
purpose of visiting other schools in the city to study methods of teach- 
ing. If this rule could be modified so as to permit visits to other 
cities, a shaking of dry bones might result. 

To sum up, our Committee, after careful investigation, felt war- 
ranted in bringing in a report that "the educational standard of 
New York is not at all on the level sought, nor even on a par 
with the attainments achieved in other places. " In this, as in our 
late Police Department, we have been too long deceived by the sooth- 



112 UNSANITARY SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC INDIFFERENCE. 

ing thought of having the "best in the world." This deception 
has been possible only because of public ignorance and neglect. 
If one question should be of surpassing interest to every parent, 
that question should be the Public Schools; for two reasons: (1) 
because the children attending are the children of the people ; (2) 
the schools are making the citizens of the future, and the in- 
fluences of the building on the physique, and the teacher on the 
mind, are apt to be underestimated. We rely too much on home 
training. Important as this is, it must be borne in mind that many 
of our city children have no home life whatever, and others would be 
better without such as they have. Taken at its best, the home chiefly 
teaches the private conduct of the parents, but the school gives the 
young child's mind its first experience of the dealing of the individual 
with masses, which we adults call citizenship. The child may be 
monarch in some homes ; but in the school he finds himself a subject 
with very serious responsibilities. Though this fundamental change 
may be going on all about us ; though future characters are being 
made or marred by thousands every day ; though the next generation 
of New Yorkers are being made near-sighted, deaf, crooked, and 
hysterical, and though they are compelled to inflate their lungs with 
a germ-laden atmosphere redolent with emanations from soiled cloth- 
ing, stables, and unsanitary plumbing, — ^yet the absence of interested 
and protesting spectators is solemnly impressive. It would seem as 
if no father has sufficient forethought to personally inspect his off- 
spring's surroundings and tuition; for I have examined the Princi- 
pars register in many schools over long periods, and found scarcely 
a single name recorded, excepting of course the trustee's signature, 
though sometimes not even this. Principals and teachers are uni- 
formly cordial, and complain of the coldness and indifference of the 
public. It does seem as if many abuses are fostered by the secrecy 
possible when none of the multitude who daily pass the doors ever 
turns aside and enters. I am sure that if people would only examine 
for themselves, every man and woman would be honestly indignant 
to find that his or her children are compelled to pass six hours a day 
for six years in such wretched places for the body and under such 
dwarfing influences for the mind. One would think that any human 
being would be roused to a righteous and ungovernable resentment 
when he saw his own flesh and blood and his pocket-book both 
abused, — ^but verily the depth of patience possessed by New Yorkers 
is inscrutable. Douglas H. Stewart. 



METHODS AND DIFFICULTIES OF CHILD-STUDY. 

The possibility of utilizing the nursery as a laboratory was sug- 
gested by Preyer's record of the first three years of his boy's life. 
The chronological table of development which his American translator 
appended to the volume serves as a model by which the watchful 
mother may follow her own baby's mental progress in similar lines. 
Many of the little every-day incidents of the baby's life which Preyer 
recorded as worthy of note are those that universally furnish topics 
for conversation between youthful parents: the baby's first smile; its 
dawning recognition of the members of the household; the pleasure 
shown at its own image in the mirror; and its assertions of indepeti- 
dent dignity. These, standing in their place in the time-order of the 
child's expression, serve as steps to indicate its daily widening mental 
horizon. 

The facts to be revealed by a close study of child-life are assum- 
ing increasing importance in the belief of specialists in Psychology, 
Pedagogy, and Anthropology. It behooves intelligent mothers, 
whose opportunities are unrivalled for furnishing data to scientific 
inquiry, to acquaint themselves with the lines of research and the 
methods of experimentation now being carried on. To establish the 
existence of laws of development, immense numbers of observations 
must be secured ; and it is only by the wide co-operation of compe- 
tent observers in the nurseries that the boundaries of knowledge con- 
cerning the earliest manifestations of human emotions and intellect 
are to be enlarged. The witless, senseless little being who at birth 
has been fitly termed "a spinal-marrow phenomenon," is from the 
very outset of its career a subject for study and observation. Preyer 
writes: " Before methodical instruction begins, during the time which 
belongs to the child's mother, no tutor speaks a word; but precisely 
then the bud is imfolding. The child's brain grows as much in the 
first year as in the whole of its after life. " 

Before committing one's self to the task of recording observations 

on a child's development, there should be in mind a somewhat clear 

conception of the significance of the work and its probable value to 
8 



114 METHODS AND DIFFICULTIES OF CHILD-STUDY. 

the recorder. To jot down a number of irrelevant facts one may 
from time to time observe in a growing child will be of little benefit 
to either the writer, the child, or the expert. In stating this propo- 
sition it is assumed that the work is to be carried on by one not pre- 
pared by special training. Obviously, the professional psychologist, 
pedagogue, or anthropologist will have his individual theories which 
he wishes to put to the test, and will formulate his own series of ex- 
periments. The remark is addressed to the conscientious mother, 
who, possessing a strong desire to fill to the full the r61e of mother- 
hood, suspects, from the suggestive title, "Child-study," that there 
lurks within it some vantage-point of knowledge from which she 
might more intelligently direct the course of the mysterious potencies 
committed to her charge. 

This surmise is to a certain extent true, for no one can closely 
watch the actions of a child's mind without coming to a clearer un- 
derstanding of its limitations, at least, and thereby be better able to 
enter into the difficulties of the problems with which a child must 
grapple. Child-study must not be conceived of as a royal road to 
wiser discipline, — ^at least not as a lightning calculator of moral prob- 
lems. It is as a science — building itself up, like other sciences, by 
the slow accumulation of innumerable facts — that child-study is to put 
forth its revelations. It is a research, from the very nature of the 
subject, more difficult and more complex than other studies in exact 
science. The infant specimen does not lend itself graciously to quiet 
manipulation ; the very hubbub of the ordinary nursery is in itself 
disastrous to orderly scholastic habits. The hundred and one vital 
demands of babyhood obtrude themselves at inopportune moments 
and blur the details of some observed phenomenon before the time 
can be seized to record it. Particularly is this the case in making 
note of the child's growing vocabulary of sound. Unusual zeal and 
persistence are needed to meet the unusual conditions. 

Again, as Professor Sully observes, " the very excellences of ma- 
ternity are a hindrance, " for the mother-mood is apt to be too preju- 
diced to state facts in their unvarnished simplicity. If maternal in- 
stinct is to be a bar to unbiased observations, surely our Eastern States 
can furnish a satisfactory number of substitutes in maiden aunts, 
who may invade the nursery with the consciousness of their superior 
qualifications. 

The best record of an individual child made in this country has 
been by Miss MilUcent Shinn, of 3an Francisco. Extracts from h^r 



METHODS AND DIFFICULTIES OF CHILD-STUDY. 115 

notes upon the growth of her niece^s mind, which have been pub- 
lished by the University of California, are serving as text-books in 
the normal schools of Illinois and California. To one who begins a 
record of baby-life from the standpoint of a novice as regards psy- 
chological literature, Miss Shinn's books (" Notes on the Develop- 
ment of a Child" *) will be found full of suggestive experiments. 
Her own lack of professional training for the task makes her method 
intelligible and her generalizations readable to the average mother. 
Miss Shinn's surprise at the recognition her work has received at the 
hands of experts best expresses the simplicity of her motives and the 
value which a systematic, trustworthy record of child-development 
possesses for modem psychology. She wrote : 

" I had no idea of doing anything of a serious value myself. I was absorbed 
in the baby and took notes for my own pleasure and instruction, and was much 
astonished when I learned that no set of notes as copious and complete was 
known of in this country. " 

Beyond a thorough reading of the two volumes of Preyer*s " Mind 
of the Child, "" Miss Shinn began her work without other special prep- 
aration than a warm affection and deep interest in the particular sub- 
ject of her study. To turn the pages of her note-books will be a 
revelation to many a mother whose nursery has bloomed with numer- 
ous specimens of budding humanity without her suspecting the sig- 
nificance of the thousand cunning and seemingly capricious ways of 
babyhood. 

There are three methods of pursuing child-study which may be 
taken up with more or less beneficial results by one not specially 
prepared by previous training. The first, which should be classed 
as an anthropological study of childhood, would follow such a line 
of investigation as Gal ton has indicated in the " Life History Al- 
bum. " • It is presumed that the album will be started for each child 
at birth, and that until the close of school life the parents will regis- 
ter systematically the observations called for: by that time the owner 
will probably find his life history of such interest and value that he 
will continue the record himself. A brief summary of the headings 
given under the general directions for using the book will outline 
the character of the study. Genealogical record, — ^A carefully pre- 

> University of California Studies, Vol. I., Nos. 1, 2. 

* Appleton's International Educational Series. 

* Published under the direction of the British Medical Association. Lon- 
dco : Macmillan A Ga 



116 METHODS AND DIFFICULTIES OF CHILDSTUDY. 

pared family medical history should serve as an introduction to the 
life story of the individual, since most diseases are hereditary, some 
markedly so. A record of predispositions, it is claimed, makes it 
possible to guard against some illnesses and successfully treat others. 
Description of the child at birth calls for its weight, length, girth 
at the nipples, color of eyes and hair, etc. A similar anthropometric 
description is to be given at the close of every five years, adding 
to the list, after infancy, the strength of pull, and acuteness of hear- 
ing and vision; and, to secure a general standard of measurement 
of these latter, definite experiments are given. The importance of 
frequent observations on height and weight, it is stated, is much greater 
than is generally supposed ; for the period of rapid growth is the 
period likewise of greatest danger to health, and it should be noted 
carefully in order that undue exposure or fatigue may be avoided. 
Weight has even greater significance as a health factor. A suddenly 
arrested increase of weight or a gradual loss often occurs before any 
other symptoms of disease can be detected, and may be the first to 
signal an alarm. Charts for mapping out the proportional gain in 
weight and height for every five years are given. Under the term 
Life history some eight or nine points are proposed for record — such 
as occupation, recreation, sleep, food, residence, etc. The Medical 
history^ it is suggested, should be filled in by the family physician, 
who should be directed to note such important points in his dealing 
with the case as special physical signs and any idiosyncrasy in the 
action of the drugs administered. Two pages are left at the close of 
each successive five years for the insertion of Photographs, In this 
age of the household camera it would surely be possible to carry out 
minutely the suggestions as to pose and size which Galton considers 
requisite for scientific value. 

The value of a systematic record of this kind will be increased by 
its continuity as a family habit ; one generation adding its testimony 
to another, till the mass of evidence may prove sufficient to assist in 
tracking out the laws of heredity and environment. Sir Francis 
Galton says : 

"If there be such a thing as a natural birth-right, I can conceive of none 
superior to the right of a child to be informed, at first by proxy through his 
guardians, and afterward personally, of the life history, medical and other, of 
his ancestry. The child comes into existence without any voice in the matter, 
and the smallest amend that can be made him is to furnish him with all the 
guidance possible, including the complete life histories of his progenitors." 

The second method of taking up the study is to focus the atten- 



METHODS AND DIFFICULTIES OF CHILD-STUDY. 117 

tion upon one or two phases of development, either physical, emo- 
tional, or intellectual. A particular subject minutely watched can- 
not fail to yield fruitful results. At the very threshold of life, the 
special study of motor ability may begin by noting the baby's chang- 
ing and growing power of muscular action. It will be with eager 
interest a mother will watch the aimless gropings of the impulsive 
stage, the reflex and instinctive responses to stimuli, till the day when 
the first intimations are given of self -directed volitional movements. 

The gratification in a work of this character is purely intellectual, 
and one's results can have a value only as a contribution to a series 
of similar observations. To be sure that the material collected can be 
utilized, it is wise to accept the suggestion put forth by the National 
Association for the Study of Children,' which offers to place its 
members in correspondence with expert workers, or be guided by 
the syllabi which President Hall, of Clark University, has recently 
issued upon the topics Anger, Dolls, Toys, Crying and Laughing. 
Any one of these subjects can be followed up with the minuteness 
suggested in his plan of study by a mother who conscientiously 
jots down the daily drama of nursery life. Unless one believes that 
purely altruistic efforts in behalf of science bring their own reward, 
there is little tempting in this study. The factor of personal gain 
must be eliminated. Views as to corporal or non-corporal methods 
of discipline will not be in the least clarified, nor will there be a per- 
ceptible forward stride in ability to judge of the relative merits of 
educational systems. If the work has been carried on conscientiously, 
the observer will have the satisfaction of having contributed her 
quota to the building up of a conception of childhood based on actual 
knowledge of its laws of progress. The perplexities of this genera- 
tion may, by the aid of the clearer light secured, be solved for future 
parents. 

The biographical method, which can be suggested as a third, 
requires at least a slight acquaintance with recent psychological litera- 
ture, enough knowledge of the technical nomenclature of metaphysics 
to classify the facts observed, and a careful reading of the work 
already published in this line by Preyer, Hall, Shinn, Tracy, 
Baldwin, Compary^, and others. Every observed fact by this last 
method may become a subject for record if placed in its time order. 
It will materially assist the task of compilation if the record-book is 

' The AflBOciation can be addreesed through the Pedagogical Seminary, Clark 
UniverBity, Worcester, Mass. 



118 METHODS AND DIFFICULTIES OF CHILD-STUDY. 

broad-leaved enough to admit of a wide margin, so that the proper 
classification as well as the time-data of the fact observed can be 
written at once. Such a book readily admits of indexing, or one 
may follow up a specific topic chronologically without trouble. The 
dangers which beset those unused to scientific investigation by this 
last method are so many that it must be held accountable for the 
scanty results which have thus far accrued. 

As long ago as 1881 the American Social Science Association, 
through its Committee on Education, undertook to promulgate the doc- 
trine of universal child-study. The enthusiasm with which their sug- 
gestions were received promised a rich harvest, but, apart from the 
inspiration given to a few isolated observers, no effectual work was 
accomplished. Upon the supposition that college-bred women, espe- 
cially, would find a congenial task in wringing an intellectual contri- 
bution out of the midst of daily duties, a series of suggestions were 
prepared by a committee of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae to 
serve them as a guide in note-taking. The points indicated on the first 
of the four schedules were physiological, and were intended for babies 
under six months. Sight was subdivided into Staring, Fixation, 
or Noticing, Perception of Approach, and Coordination of Eyes. 
Grasping was divided into the topics Reflex, Carrying to Mouth, 
Semi-Qrasping and Grasping with Desire, Thumb-Position, etc. The 
second schedule, still physiological in its nature, followed the motions 
of the baby from its first efforts to hold up its head, on through the 
various stages of Sitting, Boiling, Creeping, Standing, and Bunning. 
Notes on Fear, Anger, Affection, and Compassion were suggested as 
possible clues by which to follow up the emotional nature, while 
Will, Attention, Memory, Imagination, and Language were proposed 
as topics for noting the intellectual development. The temptation 
to follow temporarily first one topic and then another, to the lack of 
thorough mastery of any, proved seductive even to those whose 
training had prepared them to grasp the significance di scientific 
methods. Two years' experience with the working of schedules of 
this character led those in charge to emphasize, in their recent circular 
addressed to college mothers, the fact that the biographical method 
was more particularly adapted to children under three, as the ele- 
mental racial characteristics of babyhood are more easily followed in 
their development than the more complex and subtle expressions of 
individuality shown when the child has mastered speech. In view 
of the fact that a cloud of mystery still veils the impulses to emo- 



METHODS AND DIFFtCULTBES OF CHILD-STUDY. lid 

tional and moral expression in childhood, it is well not to speak dis- 
couragingly of random wanderings with note-book and pencil into any 
pathway ; for by chance one might stumble npon some correlation of 
facts that would never have been laid down for investigation in a 
cut-and-dried programme of inquiry. 

The possible stimulus to be gained by the association of workers 
into classes or sections for the study of child-life is counteracted by 
the equal danger that, unless in competent directive hands, the inter- 
ested mother will find the contributions offered so alluring in their 
appeal to her personal reminiscences that the " study" hour will degen- 
erate into an *' experience meeting" of more or less hap-hazard a char- 
acter. It is a severe strain upon maternal instinct to repress a com- 
parison of the individualJennie'sand Johnnie's remarkable qualities. 

The proper guides for the scientific study of childhood are the 
guardians of the spirit of research and investigation in all other 
departments of knowledge, our colleges and universities. Professor 
Chrisman was probably unaware, when his article appeared in the 
February (1894) number of The Forum, pleading for recognition 
of child-study (Paidology) in our colleges as an important branch of 
the family of " ologies, " that the University of California had taken 
an initial step in this direction by assuming the general charge of the 
work carried on by members of the local Association of Collegiate 
AlumnsB. It is by such affiliations that positive results will be 
gained. The investigators will have before them the incentive to 
scholastic efforts in the consciousness that their work counts as a 
recognized part of the college curriculum, while the material they 
may gather will shed its light upon the problems of the laboratory 
and lecture-room. 

It is especially fitting that the colleges which reserve their privi- 
leges exclusively for women should be the first to introduce the 
study of Paidology, since statistics show that either as teachers or 
mothers two>thirds of all their graduates assume the guidance of 
young intellects as their life responsibility. 

Under the broad term Sociology, Domestic Sanitation has crept 
into the class-room of the Chicago University, so there is hope that 
this recognition of special training for special functions may serve as 
an incentive to Psychology to lend the dignity of its name to this 
inquiry into child-life. 

Annie Howes Barus. 



THE CIVIL SERYICE AS A CAREER. 

On January 16, 1883, President Arthur approved "an act to 
regulate and improve the civil service of the United States, " which has 
become popularly known as the " civil service law, " and thus gave 
to the ambitious young men and women of America their first official 
intimation of the opening of new opportunities in the public service 
for honorable and satisfactory careers. Prior to the passage of this 
law the civil service, particularly at Washington, had come to be 
considered as a haven for decrepitude and incompetence, as a means of 
tiding over a temporary period of misfortune, or as a secure and not 
uncomfortable retreat in which to wait for something to turn up. 
Though this impression, growing out of the traditions of the spoils 
system, was always unjust to the many competent and meritorious 
men and women who received public employment in those days, it 
was supported by far too many instances of the appointment and 
retention of persons grossly and notoriously unfit. As the friendly 
patronage of persons prominent in political life was the only available 
door to the public service, employment in it was naturally monopo- 
lized to a very large extent by those able to earn such friendship by 
political or personal service, or to whom a recommendation to office 
was accorded as the reluctant and charitable reward of persistent im- 
portunity. The same infiuences which controlled appointments also 
largely determined — though with honorable exceptions — the subse- 
quent retention and advancement of appointees; and consequently 
even the most competent frequently found political influence — not 
rarely secured through pecuniary contributions — and personal neces- 
sity more powerful in securing promotion than diligence and capacity ; 
while honest merit was too often forced to most humiliating impor- 
tunity in order to obtain through favor what should have been the 
unsought reward of ability and industry. 

There are two points of view from which the civil service may be 
considered, and from either such a system as has been described 
appears unsatisfactory in the extreme. The first and most obvious 
is that of the taxpayer, who is undoubtedly interested in seeing that 



THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CAREER. 121 

the amount expended for government is so used as to secure the 
greatest good at the lowest possible cost. Naturally the capable 
and self-reliant youth of the country, even when not excluded by 
lack of sufl&ciently powerful friends, were repelled from seeking 
entrance to the public service when to do so was to subject them- 
selves to such humiliating and revolting conditions, and the necessity 
of accepting public employment came to be regarded as a calamity, 
and the civil service as the last resort of incompetence. Thus public 
money was wasted in the support of useless official parasites, or paid 
to " heelers" as the price of corrupting the government and politics of 
those they were supposed to serve. The other standpoint, from 
which the system must receive equal condemnation, is that of those 
who, under better conditions, might have found in the government 
service an adequate field for their talents and industry. To this elass 
the evil of restricting to a few — and those seldom among the most 
worthy — the right to enter the civil service meant a distinct limita- 
tion of opportunity. The United States government employs 
204,039 persons, or about one in every one hundred and ten 
engaged in gainful occupations, and it is obvious that if there is to be 
equal individual opportunity such employment must not be monopo- 
lized by a favored class. 

It is unnecessary to seek to determine which of these considera- 
tions had greater weight in securing the passage of the civil service ^. 
law, but it is sufficient to note the radical nature of the change 
involved in legislation which provided, among other things: 

''That no recommendation of any person who shall apply for office . . . 
which may he given by any Senator or member of the House of Representatives, 
except as to the character or residence of the applicant, shall be received or con- 
sidered by any person concerned in making any examination or appointment." 

In order to further carry out the principle that the claims of every 
applicant should be treated as " meritorious and strong in proportion, 
not to the influence behind him, but to the good character and capac- 
ity he tenders in his own person, " it was immediately provided that 
no discrimination should be made by the appointing power on account 
of politics or religion, and that positions should be filled from among 
the four (since reduced to three) highest in standing on competitive 
examination. The departure from established precedent indicated in 
these provisions is so great that it is not surprising that many were 
skeptical regarding the sincerity of the reform ; nor that its actual 
beneficiaries — ^the young men and women to whom it opened a new 



122 THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CAREER. 

vocation — were slow in realizing its advantages. This is illustrated 
by the fact that although 13,924 places were immediately classified, 
and could be filled only by persons passing the examinations held by 
the Civil Service Commission, but 9,889, or 71 per cent, were 
examined during the first two years after the law took effect, while 
during the single year ending on June 30, 1894, 37,379 persons were 
examined, or about 85 per cent of the total number of places subject 
to the law. 

The law was first applied to places in the departments at Wash- 
ington paying from $900 to $1,800 per annum; places in the cus- 
toms service having a compensation of $900 per annum or over, at 
ports where fifty or more persons were employed ; and places in the 
twenty-three post-offices employing not less than fifty persons, paying 
not.more than $1,800 per annum, with a minimum of about $600, 
but excluding laborers. On June 28, 1888, President Cleveland 
extended the rules so as to include nearly all officers and employees 
in the executive departments at Washington, except those whose 
appointment is required to be confirmed by the Senate, and those 
employed merely as messengers, watchmen, workmen, and laborers. 
The railway mail service was classifi^ on December 31, 1888, adding 
5,320 places to those open to competition. Other additions brought 
the total number subject to the law at the close of President Cleve- 
land's first administration up to 27,330. On January 5, 1893, Presi- 
dent Harrison directed extensions which embraced all free-delivery 
post-offices not formerly included, with 7,610 places; and the Weather 
Bureau, with 314. 

Under the present administration 2,939 employees of the Inter- 
nal Revenue Bureau; 1,527 employees at custom-houses; 868 mes- 
sengers and watchmen; 2,267 superintendents and custodians of 
money at post-offices; and many smaller groups of employees, — mak- 
ing a total of 8,184, — had been placed under the jurisdiction of the 
Civil Service Commission prior to May 24, 1895. On the latter 
date what is probably the most important extension of the law which 
has yet been made was announced. As its result all positions in the 
Department of Agriculture, with its nearly 2,000 employees, are now 
subject to examination under the civil service rules, except those of 
the Secretary and Assistant-Secretary of Agriculture, and a private 
secretary to each ; the Chief of the Weather Bureau, and his private 
secretary ; the Chief Clerk of the Department, and his private secre- 
tary ; and laborers and charwomen. In order to appreciate the im- 



THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CAREER. 123 

portance of this change it is necessary to understand the scientific 
and technical character of the work performed in this department. 
Among the positions in which vacancies will hereafter be filled by 
promotion from the corps of expert subordinates, or rarely, when 
necessary, by special competitive examination, are those of statis- 
tician, botanist, entomologist, ornithologist, pomologist, vegetable 
pathologist, and chemist. The incumbents of these positions are 
naturally brought into relation with the best work of scientists in 
their special fields throughout the world; they have ample oppor- 
tunity and money for research ; and one who would as soon be remem- 
bered for adding to the world's store of knowledge as for acquiring 
private property might well consider such a position the reasonable 
goal of his ambition. 

The great value of this change lies in the fact that it opens to the 
deserving the higher places which, in many instances, even since the 
adoption of the merit system, seem to have been reserved for the 
friends of those in power. It is understood that similar extensions 
are to be made in the other executive departments ; and when this is 
accomplished, a young man entering at the lowest round, — say as a 
messenger at $600 per annum, — if he have ability, industry, persever- 
ance, and patience, may aspire to any position short of those which 
must always be filled by persons in political sympathy with the admin- 
istration, whose incumbents in fact constitute the administration. 

The point now reached is that at which entrance to the public 
service in the lower grades is open to all having the necessary quali- 
fications upon equal terms. The total number of places which could 
be filled only by competitive examination on February 21, 1895, 
was 46,706; by non-competitive examination, which is allowed 
under the law in rare cases, 165 ; and the number of excepted places 
in the classified service, 2,081, consisting of confidential clerks, 
private secretaries, cashiers, etc., for whose conduct the appointing 
officer is personally or pecuniarily responsible. The number of 
excepted places has since been greatly reduced by the extension of 
classification in the Department of Agriculture previously referred to. 

Since the civil service law took effect, 4,943 persons, of whom 
1,322 were women, have been appointed under its rules to positions 
in the departmental service, 5,497 in the railway mail service, 317 
in the Indian service, 3,092 in the customs service, 24,362 in the 
postal service, making a total of 38,211 appointments. Of those 
who have entered the departmental service about 20 per cent have 



124 THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CAREER. 

resigned, about 8 per cent have been removed, and 20 per cent have 
died, leaving on June 30, 1894, 3,457 persons, including 1,003 
women, appointed under civil service rules. This constitutes about 
29 per cent of the entire classified force of the executive depart- 
ments, and the percentage is larger in the other branches of the gov- 
ernment service. 

Chances of appointment vary according to the branch of the 
service to which entrance is sought and the legal residence of the 
applicant, and are greatly increased for those who have some special 
qualification, such as stenography. Of those passing examinations 
for the departmental service since January 16, 1883, 22.6 per cent 
have received appointments; for the railway mail service, 34.6 per 
cent; Indian service, 47.4 percent; customs service, 21.3, and postal 
service, 38.7 per cent. A trifle more than 38 per cent of those tak- 
ing the examinations fail to pass. The law requiring appointments 
to be apportioned among the States and Territories and the District 
of Columbia according to population may, at times, constitute a bar 
to the appointment of persons residing in States which have tem- 
porarily exceeded their quota. It usually does not apply to special 
examinations, and the records show that every State and Territory 
except Arizona, Idaho, Indian Territory, New Mexico, Oklahoma, 
Bhode Island, and Wyoming received one or more appointments 
during the year ending on June 30, 1894. Practically, any one 
willing to make a special effort to acquire adequate qualifications 
for government service in any branch need not despair of finally 
securing appointment. Probably the effort required at the present 
time is less than it will be a few years hence, when the extension of 
the civil service rules to higher positions has increased the oppor- 
tunities of those who enter it, and so intensified the competition. 

Among the appointments by competitive examination during the 
twelve months ending with June, 1894, were 30 clerks at salaries 
from $660 to $900 per annum ; 17 copyists, from $600 to $900 ; 28 
typewriters, $600 to $1,000; 3 stenographers, and 29 stenographers 
and typewriters, $720 to $1,400; 34 special pension examiners, $900 
to $1,300; 21 fourth assistant examiners of patents at $1,200; 4 
assistant observers for the Weather Bureau at $720 ; 2 superinten- 
dents of stations for the Fish Commission at $1,500; and in the 
Agricultural Department, an assistant vegetable pathologist at 
$1,000; botanical editor, $1,500; horticultural and entomological 
editor, $1,400; indexer and scientific expert in soils and fertilizers, 



THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CAREER. 126 

$1,600; and librarian, $1,800. No examinations have as yet been 
held for messengers, assistant messengers, or watchmen, and conse- 
quently none has been appointed under the rules. These will soon 
be held, and will materially increase the number of appointments in 
the lower grades. 

The rapidity of promotion varies greatly in the diiferent execu- 
tive departments, and also in other branches of the service. Clerks 
and copyists are appointed in the departmental service at salaries 
varying from $600 to $900 per annum. Promotion to the maximum 
should be rapid where the original appointment is at less than $900. 
The grades above this are $1,000, $1,200, $1,400, $1,600 and 
$1,800, and in some departments $2,000. Still higher are the 
positions of chiefs of division, which pay from $2,000 to $3,500 
according to their importance. There are numerous examples of 
clerks who have entered the departments since the civil service law 
went into effect and are now receiving $1,800 and $2,000 per annum. 
They are generally young men, and their advancement has been usually 
secured through merit alone. Special examinations are held to fill 
positions in the examining corps of the Patent Office. Original 
entrance is invariably at $1,200 per annum, and examinations for 
promotion to the higher grades are held at regular intervals. Out 
of a total of 34 principal examiners receiving $2,600 per annum, 
more than two-thirds originally entered the service under the civil 
service rules in the lowest grade. The proportion among first, 
second, and third assistant examiners, whose salaries are $1,800, 
$1,600, and $1,400 respectively, is still higher. 

The present Chief Clerk of the Department of State was appointed 
to a clerkship in the Treasury Department at $1,200 per annum on 
February 11, 1884, and promoted in due course to $1,800; trans- 
ferred to the State Department, and made Chief of the Bureau of 
Statistics, April 17, 1893, and appointed Chief Clerk one year later. 
Another clerk who entered the service at $1,200 per annum during 
July, 1886, was promoted to $1,400 in 1887, to $1,800 in 1889, and 
made Chief of the Consular Bureau on March 28, 1893. Perhaps no 
better example of the opportunities afforded young men in the Civil 
Service could be found than that of an employee of the Civil Service 
Commission, who in 1889 was employed in a railroad office at Wil- 
mington, N. C, at a salary of $36 per month. In common with 
most of his neighbors he believed the civil service law to be a hum- 
bug, and, as he was a Democrat, thought he had no chance of appoint- 



126 THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CAREER. 

ment under the then existdng Republican administration. However, 
he finally determined to take the copyist examination at Goldsboro, 
N. C, as an experiment. He passed, and two months later received 
an appointment as messenger in the oflSce of the Civil Service Com- 
mission at $840 per annum. He has been successively promoted 
through the $1,000, $1,200, $1,600 grades to $1,800, which is his 
present compensation. It would be interesting to know how many 
persons in Wilson County, North Carolina, this man's home, earn as 
large an income as he does. 

The opportunities for women are not as satisfactory as those for 
men, yet quite a number who have entered the service at from $600 
to $1,000, under civil service rules, are now receiving $1,200 and 
$1,400 per annum. They are appointed generally as copyists, type- 
writers, or stenographers, and have usually found promotion within 
the lower grades sufficiently rapid. There has been an unfortunate 
prejudice against promoting them to the highest salaries, but this is 
believed to be fast dying out, as the appointment of a more efficient 
and meritorious class of women demonstrates their ability and fitness. 

The educational advantages that Washington oflEers are not to be 
left out in any consideration of the opportunities in the civil service. 
Even under the spoils system, positions were sought and some times 
obtained for the express purpose of securing means of earning a 
livelihood while prosecuting professional or scientific studies at the 
Capital. The Law and Medical Departments of Columbia, George- 
town, National, and Howard Universities have had their courses and 
hours for instruction especially arranged so as to accommodate 
students employed during the day in the executive departments. 
The Corcoran Scientific School, of Columbia University, which oflEers 
courses to graduate as well as to under-graduate students, was started 
especially in order to supply the same demand. Several hundred 
young men and women graduate annually from these schools, and ex- 
department clerks successfully practising their professions in every 
State and Territory testify to the quality of instruction furnished. 
Unfortunately these advantages have seemed to be solely for the 
benefit of those who enter the government service merely as a tem- 
porary expedient, intending to seek more attractive fields of life- 
work. While this may be of personal advantage to those who are 
thus able to use the government service as a stepping-stone to some- 
thing — to them — more desirable, it manifestly results in a shifting 
force of temporary employees whose consequent lack of interest in 



THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CAREER. 127 

their work is inevitably detrimental to the service. The best results, 
not only for the taxpayers, but for those who enter the service, will, 
however, be secured when sufficient inducements are oflEered to retain 
the services of competent and faithful employees, and the civil service 
of the government is thus made a profession in which men and women 
of intelligence will be willing to spend their lives. If this can be 
accomplished there will spring up throughout the country civil 
service schools, such as those in European countries; and the Uni- 
versities at Washington will naturally turn their attention more and 
more to furnishing instruction to the employees of the lower grades 
in the executive departments who seek to qualify themselves for 
higher positions and better work. 

This involves a revision of the salaries paid to the different classes 
of employees, so as to offer inducements sufficient to retain the services 
of the most capable, who, under existing conditions, notably since the 
civil service requirements introduced a more efficient class of em- 
ployees, are constantly resigning to accept better-paid positions in 
private business. It is one of the baneful legacies of the spoils 
system that the Federal Government pays too much to employees 
whose duties are merely mechanical, and too little to those who are 
called upon to exercise wise discretion in important affairs. For 
example, the minimum salary paid to messengers is about the same 
as that paid to clerks, and the maximum not very much. This 
undoubtedly originated in the fact that places under the spoils sys- 
tem were frequently needed for " heelers" who could not perform the 
simplest clerical work, yet whose local political importance demanded 
higher pay than any services which they could perform were worth . It 
was also necessary to pay a higher price to induce men to enter the ser- 
vice when the tenure was uncertain than it should be under a reason- 
able guarantee of permanence as the reward of fidelity and capacity. 

Comparisons between the quality of service required from em- 
ployees of railroad and other corporations and from those in the govern- 
ment offices afford ample evidence that $400, $500, and $600 per an- 
num, secure tenure, and rapid promotion when deserved, would ensure 
as good service as that obtained at present in the lower grades, and 
would considerably improve that of the higher. Coupled with this 
revision should be provisions reserving the higher places for those 
who have demonstrated their ability in humbler capacities and guar- 
anteeing permanence of employment to those who deserve it. This 
would require a system of transfers between the different branch6i|f^; 



128 THE CIVIL SERVICE AS A CABEEB. 

service when circumstances reduce the work of one, and probably a 
transfer of the power of removal from those now exercising it to 
properly constituted boards. These changes, with the exception of 
those in the salaries, would do very little more than systematize the 
methods which now exist. The attention now attracted by occa- 
sional violations of the principles and spirit of civil service reform 
is itself evidence of the hold which the reform has obtained upon the 
public mind, and an ample guarantee of security to every capable and 
industrious young man or woman who enters the public service at 
the present time. 

The requirements of success for those who seek it in the civil 
service, as in other professions, are hard to define, and their absence 
is frequently more readily apparent than their presence. They 
include capacity for hard work, ability to become interested in mat- 
ters seemingly insignificant and monotonous, and breadth of view 
sufficient to grasp the larger relations of routine work, accompanied 
by an attentiveness to details that will ensure accuracy. In addition, 
there must be perseverance to conquer early disappointments, 
patience in waiting for advancement, self-reliance and esteem to 
protect against the occasional insolence of accidental greatness, and 
industry as an ever-present ally. 

To those who possess these characteristics the civil service now 
oflEers an opportunity and a career. It has no great rewards, but they 
are yearly becoming greater, and, on the contrary, it is sure not to 
furnish any severe disappointments. Its pecuniary emoluments are 
small, but they are regular, and those who enjoy them suffer little 
from the stress of competition and do not fear destruction in the 
struggle for existence. In place of fame it offers to those who are 
careful to give a little more than they receive, the satisfying con- 
sciousness of having served humanity. 

H. T. Newcomb. 



Thefbrum 



OCTOBER, 1895. 



THE PEESENT ASPECT OF THE SILVER QUESTION. 

The present situation of the silver question in the United States 
is such as should encourage those who are known as " sound -money " 
men as distinguished from the advocates of the free coinage of silver 
by this Government at the ratio of sixteen ounces of silver to one of 
gold. Upon looking over the whole field it is apparent that there are 
no more advocates of the free-silver policy than there were a year 
ago ; that those who are opposed to that policy are far more out- 
spoken now than then ; and that men who seek the favor of the pub- 
lic in many of the regions where free silver has been strong are find- 
ing courage to take the other side, — ^thus indicating in which direction 
the popular straws, which they see, are beginning to be blown. 

A still better sign is the greater intelligence found in those re- 
gions where men have been in favor of sound money rather by asso- 
ciation and instinct than because they were convinced of its truth 
through processes of reasoning. Where there was one man able and 
ready to give reasons for this faith there are now ten. Probably 
there were few men in New York or in the entire East who did not 
agree with Senator Sherman in 1890 that the Act of Congress of that 
year, which bore his name, was safe legislation : the Senator himself 
went even further and ventured the opinion that it was wise and bene- 
ficial. Many men were then to be found in New York who said that 
they thought it would bring high prices in the stock market, — possi- 
bly a veritable " boom. " One, if not more, of the sound -money news- 
papers in New York city was quite strong in the commendation that 
it bestowed upon that Act, — surprisingly and unaccountably so, as it 

Copyright, 1894, by the Forum Publishing Company. 



130 THE PRESENT ASPECT OF THE SILVER QUESTION. 

seemed to some persons. Now there is no one who does not see that 
it was fraught with danger. 

The fierce onslaught that the free-coinage interests made in the 
latter part of 1894 and in the early part of 1896 undoubtedly con- 
tributed to the better condition that now prevails, for it stirred men's 
minds and evolved much original research and thought upon the cur- 
rency question, and this notably in the regions most affected by the 
free-coinage sentiment. Even that much-read, specious, and appar- 
ently dangerous publication, "Coin's Financial School," has con- 
tributed largely to the evident set-back that the doctrines it was in- 
tended to advance have received ; for it contributed more than many 
— if not all other — things to the excitement of thought and activity 
of mind that have resulted in simultaneous publications in reply to 
it, — publications so numerous as to baffle the industry of the student 
who attempts to read all of them. Should the Republican National 
Convention of 1896 adopt such a declaration upon this subject as did 
the Convention of 1888 — a declaration which excited the hopes of the 
free-coinage advocates, produced the menacing bills of 1890 resulting 
in the time-serving and cowardly legislation of that year, which was 
followed by the suffering and ruin from which our people are only 
now recovering — there is little danger that the party would receive 
the popular approval it did in 1888. 

Of course this improvement in the condition of the public mind 
has been prompted by rising prices and by returning courage in the 
business world; investors at home and abroad again have confidence 
in our securities, which grows as confidence in our money grows. 
Side by aide and step by step the two go on together. Let the latter, 
however, but halt once more, and the former will turn backward and 
desert us more completely than before. No one should omit every 
fit occasion to praise the course the Government took to restore faith 
last January: it was heroic as a remedy; but our sick country 
needed a heroic remedy, and the physicians, by the goodness of Prov- 
idence, were at hand to give it. One gloomy day in January it 
seemed to be only a matter of hours when there would come an utter 
breakdown of the already enfeebled business world, with conse- 
quences to all classes of our people and to all parts of our country 
dreadful to contemplate. At the last moment, by the courage of a 
few men in public office and in private life, this danger was turned 
aside; and since, by the wise and altogether skilful management of 
those who made that January contract, and who then took upon them- 



THE PRESENT ASPECT OF THE SHiVER QUESTION. 131 

selves obligations which would have seemed too great to most men, 
confidence has been restored almost entirely, and our business inter- 
ests — our whole country — have gained health and strength in a 
degree so great as to defy measurement. It is easy to exaggerate, 
however, the comparative influence of better times in changing sen- 
timent: it is more tnie, as well as more agreeable and compli- 
mentary to the intelligence of our American people, to attribute this 
mainly to investigation, study, and awakened thought. 

Rarely has any question been presented to a country more com- 
pletely and with more ability than has the question of silver been 
presented to our people. It must be admitted that the free-silver 
advocates have exhausted every argument and appealed to every in- 
terest and passion to induce belief in the justice of their cause. On 
the other hand, the President, the Secretaries of the Treasury, of the 
Interior, and of Agriculture, Congressman Patterson and other states- 
men, have filled the country with convincing arguments; scholars, 
statisticians, and publicists have added demonstration and proof ; as- 
sociations of citizens in Chicago, New York, and other places have 
helped to make a correct knowledge of the laws governing our finan- 
cial problems accessible to every one. The Chamber of Commerce 
of New York city, and the Sound Currency Committee of the Reform 
Glab, may be mentioned as among the most active agents in this 
diffusion of knowledge. A recent report of the Reform Club com- 
mittee shows that it had distributed millions of documents, and that 
it had furnished sound-currency arguments every fortnight to 
weekly newspapers through plate and broadside matter, the aggre- 
gate circulation of which was over one million of copies. If truth 
be in a cause, the intelligence of our people is such that they will 
grasp it when thus presented. To doubt this is to despair of our 
Republic. 

But over-confidence is unsafe. There are many indications that 
should warn the advocates of sound money that it will not do to assume 
that the free-silver cause is dead. We have seen Democratic political 
conventions in several States to be overwhelmingly under the control 
of free-silver men. Mr. Hardin and Mr. Blackburn in Kentucky deem 
it wise to defy the declaration of the Democratic Convention of that 
State, — an indication that they believe there is a sentiment upon 
which they can depend in thus disregarding the wishes of the Conven- 
tion. ' The danger from all this is not so much that it will accomplish 
anything ultimately for the free-silver cause, as that it may at some 



132 THE PRESENT ASPECT OF THE SHiVER QUESTION. 

time appear so formidable as again to alarm the world about the future 
of our currency, and thus bring upon us again the business troubles 
from which we are now slowly recovering. Suppose, for instance, 
that the National Convention of either of the great political parties 
should declare for unsound money next year: until the result of the 
election were known, all business would be in constant peril, — the 
least evil to be expected being utter stagnation for several months. 
Thus from a business standpoint it is wisdom to keep up the educa- 
tional effort until the Republican and Democratic National Conven- 
tions of 1895 shall have been held. 

Almost all the sound -currency effort heretofore has been neg- 
ative. Since the repeal of the Sherman Act of 1890, which repeal 
was itself only an Act of negation, little effort has been made, and 
little thought has been given to any phase of this question save oppo- 
sition to the proposal to throw open our mints to the coinage of 
legal-tender silver dollars on a basis which would assume that six- 
teen ounces of silver were worth exactly one ounce of gold. Those 
who wish to see our people delivered from the perils which will 
ever be present so long as we have a currency issued under systems 
that are in violation of the laws of nature a nd ol sound busiaess 
principles, should not hold this negative attitude much longer: if 
they do, currency evils will surely return to our harm ; for it cannot 
be gainsaid that our currency is not based upon sound business prin- 
ciples, and that it does violate the laws of nature. This affirmative 
work will be full of diflSculties, for those who have been united in 
negation will surely be disunited when it is undertaken; and yet it 
must be undertaken, and that soon, not only to avert dangers that 
come from the inherent defects of present systems, but also to fore- 
stall proposals for legislation and governmental interference that will 
be still more pernicious. In my opinion, safety lies in one direc- 
tion only, and that is to sever Government from currency to the 
utmost extent possible. All other effort will be but adding danger to 
danger and worse to bad. 

Charles S. Fairchild. 



WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE 

REMEDY. 

The entire property of the colleges and universities of the United 
States is about two hundred millions of dollars, a value equally 
divided between funds which bear interest, and buildings, grounds, 
and apparatus. This property is the result either of gift or of an 
unearned increment. The part that belongs to the unearned in- 
crement is small, for American colleges, unlike English charities, 
have kept only a small share of their possessions in lands and build- 
ings for the purpose of producing income. Two hundred millions 
of dollars is a very small amount as representing the entire material 
possessions of the colleges and universities of the United States more 
than two hundred and fifty years after the settlement of the country. 
It is a sum not largely in excess of certain private fortunes. It is 
certainly small in relation to the importance of the higher education 
to the best interests of American life. This meagreness of material 
result becomes the more significant when it is known that fully one- 
fourth of this sura belongs to only four universities. The result is 
not one to be exulted over; but it is rather one to cause us to turn 
toward the future with a firm resolve to atone by enlarged benevo- 
lence for the poverty or the penuriousness of the past. 

Not for one instant can it be doubted that the cause of the higher 
education represents the best object for the bestowal of general benevo- 
lence. Mr. Courtney Stanhope Kenny, in his remarkable book en- 
titled "Endowed Charities" (pp. 238-240), suggests six rules for 
benevolence : 

1. **0f two ways of palliating an evil, we must choose the more powerful." 

2. ** Relief which removes the causes of the evil is better than that which 
palliates or increases it. " 

8. ** If we must choose among forms of relief that on^y assuage the evil with- 
out removing its cause, those — if of equal potency — are to be preferred which 
produce least new evil.** 

4. **The graver the evil, the more desirable is the charity that relieves it." 

5. "An inevitable evil is more deserving of relief than an avoidable one." 

6. ^^ An unexpected evil is more deserving of relief than one that could be 
foreseen." 



134 WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS; THE REMEDY. 

These rules are wise, but it is to be said at ODce that they are largely 
of a negative character; they are rules rather than principles. It 
would seem that a principle of benevolence, as that principle may be 
applied to endowment, is that endowments should be given to those 
philanthropic works the demand for which we wish to increase. Al- 
though this principle has certain evident limitations or exceptions, 
yet its application is broad and generally sound. It applies to the 
ordinary stable conditions of life. One does not wish the demand 
for poor-houses to increase, and poor-houses should not be endowed ; 
one does not wish the demand for institutions and agencies for re- 
lieving the poor to increase, and no one of these institutions and 
agencies are worthy objects for endowment. But one does wish the 
demand for education, higher and lower, and the demand for scien- 
tific research, to increase, and these causes are worthy objects of 
endowment. By endowing poor-houses one makes paupers; by en- 
dowing colleges one makes scholars : each endowment creates what it 
is ordained to create. 

It is to be said that the famous arguments of Turgot and of Adam 
Smith against foundations have rather gained than diminished in 
force as the arguments are applied to causes other than the higher 
education. Turgot*8 argument in the article on " Foundations" in 
the " Encyclopedic" is still a masterpiece. He states that the intel- 
lectual difficulties are so great, and the social problems so complex, 
which one who wishes to be a founder must meet, that he must be 
the boldest man who would be willing to run such risks. It is dif- 
ficult, too, for the philanthropist to diagnose the disease and to distin- 
guish its essential nature beneath superficial appearances. He is in 
peril of mistaking effect for cause, and cause for effect. Even if he has 
reached the root of the disease, the difficulty of discovering a remedy 
is no less great. Many remedies which have been applied have in- 
creased the evil ; as, for instance, the erection of foundling hospitals, 
which has tended to augment the evil out of which the need for such 
hospitals has grown. Furthermore, if a proper remedy be discovered 
for an evil for a short time, it is very much more difficult to apply 
this remedy through the long time in which a foundation is supposed 
to last. The difficulties, therefore, of making a worthy foundation 
are so great that Turgot believes that it is better not to attempt to lay 
foundations. 

This argument is reinforced by Adam Smith. The great econo- 
mist asks : 



WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 135 

"Have these public endowments contributed in general to promote the end 
of their institutions? Have they contributed to encourage the diligence, and to 
improve the abilities of the teachers? Have they directed the course of educa- 
tion towards objects more useful, both to the individual and to the public, than 
those to which it would naturally have gone of its own accord? ... In every 
profession the exertion of the greater part of those who exercise it is always in 
proportion to the necessity they are under of making that exertion. . . . The en- 
dowments of schools and colleges have necessarily diminished more or less the 
necessity of application in the teachers. " * 

But it is to be said that the argument of Turgot is directed 
toward the limitation of certain evils; it is not directed toward 
the augmentation of the good. It is evident that his argument does 
not apply to educational endowments with anything like the force 
with which it applies to charitable endowments. The pursuit of 
knowledge, the promotion of research, the offering of opportunities 
for culture, the establishment of facilities for learning, will repre- 
sent the worthiest objects so long as humanity has a being at all 
like its present being. The evils which the great Frenchman 
alludes to, however alarming in the case of many charities of Eng- 
land, do not appear in the administrations of the two oldest and 
most illustrious universities of England. These evils, too, have 
never appeared in any appreciable degree in the life and work of 
American colleges. 

In reference to the argument of Adam Smith, it is to be said, and 
briefly, that endowment is absolutely necessary to the carrying on of 
the higher education. The revenue derived from fees is far from 
being suflScient to support the college or the university. The gen- 
eral evil to which he alludes may attend the establishment of certain 
foundations, but without the foundations no university could main- 
tain its existence for a year. The universities of England, of the 
United States, and of Germany, are alike in not being able to support 
themselves on the fees received from their students. 

The proper province of endowment is represented in the spiritual 
and intellectual interests of man rather than in his physical and mate- 
rial interests. Voluntary benevolence need not concern itself with 
evils which the state can and will remedy. Those evils which are 
the most obvious are physical and material evils. Private and vol- 
untary benevolence should therefore concern itself first with the intel- 
lectual and spiritual welfare of man. The individual need not at- 
tempt to do that which the community as a legal corporate body will 

« "The Wealth of Nations/ Book V. Chap. I, Part III, Article 2d "Of the 
Expense of the Institutions for the Education of Youth. ** 



136 WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 

do. It is also to be said, and with gratitude, that organized society 
is constantly enlarging its field of beneficence; it is constantly taking 
up work and works which were formerly done through single persons. 
As the man who is by nature a pioneer retires into the forest at each 
advance of orderly and civilized society, so the pioneer in beneficence 
surrenders fields which he has formerly worked to the organized ben- 
eficence of the community. The kindergarten schools of certain cities 
have been established and maintained for years by private beneficence. 
Their usefulness in time became so evident that they have been 
incorporated into the public-school system. The relief of the poor 
was formerly a matter for private beneficence; it has now largely 
come to be a matter of public and legal action. The physical and 
material evils of humanity are moi'e evident to the ordinary observer 
than the spiritual and intellectual needs, and these more evident 
needs are first taken up by the community, and afterward the less 
apparent ones, — the spiritual and intellectual. And therefore, until 
the organized community is able to perceive these spiritual and in- 
tellectual needs, and to fulfil them, they present the most promising 
field for voluntary and personal beneficence. 

One cannot deny that the histoi-y of endowments other than edu- 
cational is on the whole a rather sad one. Such history hardly be- 
longs to the United States. This nation is altogether too young, and 
has been too poor, to have made much history of this character. Yet 
when one turns to the mother-country he finds that the time has been 
long enough and wealth has been sufficient to allow the making of a 
history of endowed charities. This history furnishes sufficient justi- 
fication for keen and profound analysis and diagnosis. For the evils 
of the community have not been understood. Eemedies have not 
been adjusted to the evils. Sums too large have been donated to re- 
move small evils, and the result has been an increase of evils; sums 
too small have been donated to remove large evils, and the result has 
been unremunerative expenditure. Help has too often been given 
in such a way as to take away the power of self-help. Endowments 
have been rendered superfluous through change of conditions. The 
law of proportions has not been observed. Some instances of these 
propositions are furnished by Mr. Kenny in his book already re- 
ferred to: 

'•Admiral B. M. Kelly, in 1807, left £90,000 to found a school for sons of 
officers in the navy. The lads were to have a first-class education up to the 
age of eighteen. But the head-master's salary was only to amount to 'the value 



WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 137 

of one hundred buahels of wheat, ' which, as the Charity Commissioners said, 
was ' ludicrously inadequate. ' Many further difficulties arose 'from the min- 
uteness with which the testator, who was a sailor, and evidently knew little 
about schools, ' had given directions. " 

** We have pointed out many important endowments where very large funds 
are producing at present little or even no result Thus, Thame Grammar 
School had two masters and one boy ; and those at Sutton Coldfield (endowed 
with £467 a year), Manceter (£288 a year), and Little Walsingham (£110 
a year) were sometimes without any boys at all, whilst the evidence of the 
Assistant Commissioners included such testimony as the following : ' At Bath 
an income of £461 appears to hinder rather than promote the education of the 
citizens, and does nothing for the neighborhood. ' * The fine foundation at Mar- 
ket Bosworth, now £792 a year, is reported to be at present useless. ' Glouces- 
tershire and Herefordshire require special notice for the generally unsatisfactory 
condition of their endowed schools. ' Gloucestershire has seventeen f oimdations 
for secondary education, and none of these is reported to be at all efficient. ' 
*It is difficult to understand that Masham school serves any useful purpose.' 
'A school of this kind (Easingwold) does great harm to the commimity. ' 
'This school (Bridlington) in its present state hinders rather than promotes the 
civilization of the place. ' ' Much of the vitality of Doncaster school is owing 
to the fact that it possesses none cl ihe wealth which in so many instances 
proves to be an encouragement to indolence. ' " 

** Mr. Cumin tells the story of an old lady who gave away £20 worth of 
flannel every Christmas. The Christmas after she died the poor people came to 
the rector and complained, ' If we had known she was going to die, we would 
have saved our harvest money and bought flannel. "^ 

** An instance of a very comprehensive and yet very futile foundation is 
afforded by that of Bir. Henry Smith, who in 1626 left large sums for four ob- 
jects. Part was to go in redeeming captives from pirates; but since 1728 
no captive has been found on whom it could be spent. Part, now producing 
£8,235 a year, was to go in doles, and is distributed with the usual results among 
209 districts, in one of which it is given to one household out of every two, in 
another to two households out of every three, and in another — according to the 
vicar — 'a charity was never worse applied, its effects are demoralizing. ' Part, 
again, was reserved for Mr. Smith's poor relations, and is still distributed 
among them to the extent of £6,797 a year, with the result of making it the in- 
terest of some hundreds of persons not to work and get on in life. The final part 
was to be devoted to buying impropriations for preachers, and its income is dis- 
tributed among the poor clergy, though the resulting benefit is found to be more 
than counterbalanced by the disappointment caused to the unsuccessful appli- 
cants, the trouble of the canvassing, and the perilous habit which it too often 
inspires of begging with colorable tales of poverty." 

These instances, which, though numerous, might be greatly in- 
creased, are more than sufficient to prove the downright, sheer, ab- 
solute foolishness of many benevolent men. On the whole, men's 
hearts are better than their heads, their wills than their intellects. Men 
often choose the highest objects known to them, and with the heartiest 
enthusiasm adopt schemes of benevolence which seem to them the 
wisest. But their knowledge is narrow, and their schemes for execut- 



138 WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 

ing their benevolent intentions are not wise. The number of men and 
women who every day are devoting their fortunes, time, and labor to 
benevolence is constantly increasing. One cannot witness these 
abounding examples of sacrifice without feelings of the deepest 
gratitude. But one is too often saddened and chagrined on knowing 
that these benevolences, so generously conceived, are not the product 
of a comprehensive and reflective wisdom. Too often they represent 
wasted labor and fruitless self-sacrifice. 
^ Such a condition, however, does not usually belong to endow- 
ments given to the higher education; for the cause of the higher edu- 
cation is so comprehensive, and its interests so diverse, that it is only 
with extreme and most complete fooli^ness that one can make a 
mistake in giving to the college or university. For the university 
is designed to make the best man; and it commands the services 
of the best men, as teachers of youth, as trustees of funds, and as 
administrators of serious undertakings. No corporations in the United 
States are able to command so great talent as the college corporations. 
One reason of this present condition is found in the exalted purposes 
which the college is ordained to secure. A further reason lies in the 
fact that the financial trusts reposed in these administrators are large. 
The great number of small endowments made in the cause of charity 
in England has in many cases resulted in waste, because the smallnes& 
of these sums could not command men of ability in their manage- 
ment. But the American college holding large sums of money 
has been able to secure the wisest legal talent and the most worthy 
moral ability. It is also not to be forgotten that the college 
stands for certain lasting needs of humanity. One can hardly 
conceive of changes occurring in the race so great as to render the 
need of a trained judgment and the usefulness of stores of know- 
ledge superfluous. The changes in the condition of humanity 
have rendered many trusts absolutely worthless. Such changes 
cannot, in any degree of probability, occur in those conditions 
which education represents, as to render funds given to that cause 
worthless. 

Furthermore, the higher education represents conditions which 
are the least obtrusive. The physical suffering of man appeals to 
every one ; his intellectual wants do not. Those persons, therefore, 
to whom these wants do appeal as worthy should be especially solici- 
tous to fill them. The college and the university also appeal to the 
benevolence of the individual through the fact that it is a question 



WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 139 

how far the community should tax itself for the promotion of the 
higher intellectual welfare. But there is no question that the higher 
intellectual interests of men are vitally related to all the interests of 
humanity. It is therefore of supreme importance that these interests 
be conserved, and they therefore present themselves to one who has 
the welfare of the race at heart with peculiar persuasiveness. It is, 
moreover, never to be forgotten that the college represents the most 
comprehensive interest of humanity. This consideration is well 
exemplified in the fact that, in the revision of English charities by 
the Charity Commissioners, the cause of education was judged to be 
the best cause to receive endowments which had been created for 
purposes and objects now no longer possible of fulfilment. It was 
agreed that endowments which had been established for the follow- 
ing purposes: " Doles in money or kind; marriage portions; redemp- 
tion of prisoners and captives; relief of poor prisoners for debt; 
loans; apprenticeship fees; advancement in life; or any purposes 
which have failed altogether or have become insignificant in com- 
parison with the magnitude of the endowment, if originally given 
to charitable uses in or before the year of our Lord one thousand 
and eight hundred," * — should be applied to the advancement of 
education. 

Truths of this character, recognized throughout the history of 
this country and especially in the last seventy-five years, have re- 
sulted in the donation of large sums of money to American colleges 
and universities. In England the money that is given to public 
uses usually goes to the establishment of a charity. There pov- 
erty has become a disease; charity deals with it as a disease. In 
England, too, the interest of wealthy men is largely given to the estab- 
lishment of a family. One cannot read the wills of Englishmen 
without seeing that money is usually retained in the family. Such 
a purpose or principle of founding a family has small value in a new 
country. One reason of this condition is found in the fact that in 
the newer country families are not permanent. They are like a 
wheel, — inconstant revolution; the highest part soon becomes the 
lowest, and the lowest highest. There does not seem to be any strong 
desire to make them permanent. In England the domestic and the 
charitable demands for money are so great that Oxford and Cam- 
bridge are failing to receive their just proportion. In the United 
States, institutions are more permanent than families; and of all 

» Kenny, " Endowed Charities/ p. 198. 



UO WELL-BIEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 

our institutions those of the higher education — the college, the uni- 
versity — are the most permanent. The colleges and the universities 
are therefore the objects of special benevolence. 

In making an educational or other foundation a founder should 
bear in mind that his foundation is designed to last forever. lie 
should therefore constantly have in sight the fact that the future is 
sure to bring fundamental changes, and he should not make the 
conditions attending his gift so exact that it may at some time 
become worthless through the impossibility of their fulfilment. It 
is said that there are more than two thousand endowments for pri- 
maiy education in England which are now rendered absolutely 
unnecessary through the establishment of schools aided by the 
government. A founder, therefore, should in general be content 
with a statement of his comprehensive purpose. He will find it far 
better to trust the men of the future than to try to perpetuate present 
methods. 

This endeavor to make the standards and methods of the time of 
a founder the standards and methods of all time receives illustration 
in our own recent history. The endeavor to give an exact inter- 
pretation to certain terms in the fundamental instruments of the 
Theological Seminary at Andover resulted in serious loss to the Semi- 
nary ; and the endeavor of certain members and friends of the official 
Board of the Seminary to interpret the ancient document in the light 
of general principles has seemed to some to result in a failure rightly 
to appreciate the importance of the specific trust that was committed 
to the Board. Harvard College, too, in the early part of the eigh- 
teenth century, received a gift to found a certain lectureship under 
certain conditions. By his last will Paul Dudley — 

— **gaYe to Harvard College one hundred poimds sterling, to be applied as he 
should direct ; and by an instrument imder his hand and seal he afterwards or- 
dered the yearly interest to be applied to supporting an anniversary sermon or 
lectiure, to be preached at the College, on the following topics. The ^first 
lecture was to be for ' the proving, explaining, and proper use and improvement, 
of the principles of Natural Religion;' the second, 'for the confirmation, 
illustration, and improvement of the great articles of the Christian religion ; the 
third, 'for the detecting, convicting, and exposing the idolatry, errors, and 
superstitions of the Romish Church ;* the fourth, 'for maintaining, explaining, 
and proving the validity of the ordination of ministers or pastors of the churches, 
and of their administration of the sacraments or ordinances of religion, as the 
same hath been practised in New England from the first beginning of it, and so 
continued to this day. *" ^ 

> Josiah Quincy, "History of Harvard University," Vol. II, p. 189. 



WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 141 

In the college year of 1890-91 the Dudleian lecturer was the Right 
Rev. Bishop John J. Keene, Rector of the Catholic University of 
America. His subject, it should be added, was: 

" For the confirmation, illustration, and improvement of the great articles of 
the Christian religion, properly so called, or the revelation which Jesus Christ, 
the Son of God, was pleased to make, first by Himself and afterwards by Uis 
Holy Apostles, to His Church and the world for their salvation. " 

It is not wise for a founder to say exactly what men shall believe, 
or in what terms they shall express their belief a hundred years, or 
two hundred years, or five thousand years, after he is dead. He 
would better entrust his general purpose, without specific conditions, 
to the men of the future. Yet it is to be presumed that certain 
founders will be short-sighted, and that the most generous will lack 
wisdom. It is therefore fitting that the state should take upon itself 
the duty of supervising, so far as it is able, all foundations and 
trusts, and also of reversing all those which fail to fill their purposes. 
The need is not so great in America as in England; but even in 
America it would be well for the state to have a Board to watch over 
foundations. As Mr. Kenny says : 

"The periodical investigation of charity affairs by a central authority is 
requisite to stimulate the activity of the administrators and the economy of their 
administration. For the former purpose, the state must periodically inquire if 
the number of administrators is being kept up by new elections to its normal 
standard, and with what regularity each of them attends the meetings of the 
body. For the latter, it must periodically inquire into the receipts and expendi- 
tures of the charity. The returns of actual revenue must, of course, be checked 
by comparison with the amount of the revenue-producing capital. Of that 
amount the state must furnish itself with exact information by requiring the 
immediate registration of every charitable gift. In old countries, where philan- 
thropy has run a long course before the national life has reached the stage of 
centralization at which such a register becomes possible, its contents (like the 
English enrolments under the Act of 1786) will cover only the later foundations. 
In such a case it must be supplemented by a general inquiry into the present 
wealth of the earlier ones. " * 

This need of the revision of foundations is clearly expressed by 
John Stuart Mill in one of his essays. He says : 

** At the head of the foundations which existed in the time of Turgot was the 
Catholic hierarchy, then almost effete ; which had become irreconcilably hostile 
to the progress of the human mind, because that progress was no longer com- 
patible with belief in its tenets ; and which, to stand its ground against the ad- 
vance of incredulity, had been driven to knit itself closely with the temporal 
despotism, to which it had once been a substantial, and the only existing, im- 

> Kenny, ** Endowed Charities," p. 134. 



142 WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS; THE REMEDY. 

pediment and control. After this came monastic bodies, constituted ostensibly 
for the purpose, which derived their value chiefly from superstition, and now 
not even fulfilling what they professed ; bodies of most of which the very 
existence had become one vast and continued imposture. Next came uni- 
versities and academical institutions, which had once taught all that was tl)en 
known ; but, having ever since indulged their ease by remaining stationary, 
found it for their interest that knowledge should -do so too, — institutions for 
education, which kept a century behind the community they affected to educate ; 
who, when Descartes appeared, publicly censured him for differing from Aris- 
totle; and, when Newton appeared, anathematized him for dififering from 
Descartes. There were hospitals which killed more of their unhappy patients 
than they cured ; and charities of which the superintendents, like the licentiate 
in 'Gil Bias, * got rich by taking care of the affairs of the poor ; or which at best 
made twenty beggars by giving or pretending to give a miserable and dependent 
pittance to one. 

"' The foundations, therefore, were among the grossest and most conspicuous 
of the familiar abuses of the time : and beneath their shade flourished and multi- 
plied large classes of men by interest and habit the protectors of all abuses 
whatsoever. What wonder that a life spent in practical struggle against abuses 
should have strongly prepossessed Turgot against foundations in general ! Yet 
the evils existed, not because there were foundations, but because those founda- 
tions were perpetuities, and because provision was not made for their continual 
modification to meet the wants of each successive age. " * 

Every college, like every bank, in the United States, should fre- 
quently submit to a Board constituted by legal authority a statement 
of its financial condition, of the various trusts under which it holds 
its funds, and of the use which it makes of the income thence de- 
rived. Every institution of charity should be constantly ready to 
give an account of its stewardship. The State should supervise 
trusts which are made under its authority. The need of this super- 
vision is not at present urgent; for college funds are small, they are 
at present well managed, and the period of our national existence 
has not been long enough to introduce many fundamental changes in 
society. But the need of supervision will become urgent with en- 
larging collegiate wealth and with the increasing diversity of condi- 
tions. 

This review brings us to certain rather important conclusions; 
for the number of people in the United States who desire to make 
the noblest and most lasting use of their wealth is already large and 
is constantly increasing. One conclusion is, that it is not the part of 
wisdom to surround a foundation with very specific conditions. A 
second conclusion is, that if a gift is surrounded with very specific 
conditions, a means of relief should be afforded in a general permis- 
sion to use the gift in the promotion of a general purpose. A third 
> Mill, "^ Dissertations and Discussions," Vol. I, p. 52. 



WELL-MEANT BUT FUTILE ENDOWMENTS: THE REMEDY. 143 

<;onclusion is that a founder should trust the men of the future to 
carry out his general purpose. He should not lay down certain nar- 
row methods or merely technical rules for their following. The good 
men of a.d. 3895 will have more wisdom for administering a trust 
made two thousand years before than any man living in 1895 can 
suggest to them. The fourth and last conclusion of this review, and 
one which English and American history confirms, is that the agency 
through which wealth — be it ten thousand dollars or ten millions — is 
most certain of doing the most good, to the most people, for the 
longest time, and in the widest realms, is the college and the 
university. Charles F. Thwing. 



i 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 

Retrospective sagacity is such a common faculty that it has 
probably occurred to a good many people that the late Government 
lost an opportunity of a dignified descent from oflBce. When Rad- 
icals are in opposition one hears plenty about the iniquity of septen- 
nial Parliaments. Democracy, we are told, must be consulted at 
shorter intervals ; hence the place assigned to triennial elections in 
the Newcastle programme. But no sooner are Radicals in office than 
a discreet reticence is observed on the subject. Beati possidentes ; far 
from any intention of dissolving at the close of their third year, Min- 
isters announced that they would hold on so long as they had a ma- 
jority of one in the House of Commons. Looking back over the 
events of this summer, does it not seem that the Cabinet would have 
secured more respect by carrying into effect that which their party had 
proclaimed as the right way? — by bringing in their promised resolu- 
tion about the House of Lords and announcing that Parliament would 
be dissolved on completing its third year of existence in July. Of 
course the retrospective sage may be told that this would not be busi- 
ness, but the same may be whispered of a good deal else in the New- 
castle programme. 

There is no term with which one is more familiar in connection 
with politics than that of "crisis." In nine cases out of ten the 
phrase is misapplied. Electors are implored to act as men should do 
under such a contingency, when nothing is on hand but a phase in 
the normal process of growth and decay. Even a general election is 
often no more than a ministerial crisis in the technical parliamentary 
sense, and people constantly warned that they are passing through a 
crisis become as indifferent as those accustomed to hear the cry of 
" Wolf !" when no wolf is near. But there need be no mistake about 
the general election just passed. It formed a crisis in English his- 
tory in the full and plain English meaning attached to the Greek 
word as defined by the dictionaries, — " a decisive point or moment." 
There were enormous interests at stake. The preservation of a united 
kingdom ; the maintenance of two of the principal pillars of the con- 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 145 

stitution as we have inherited it, — the House of Lords and the na- 
tional Church ; the regulation of a vast branch of trade, involving 
one of the chief sources of revenue, as well as the security of an im- 
mense amount of private capital; the incidence of direct taxation, — 
all these were to be put in the balance and weighed by the will of 
the people. And the people have risen to the occasion. They have 
behaved as men conscious of a crisis; rightly or wrongly, they 
have registered an emphatic answer. 

There was only one element in the situation which modified the 
intense apprehension of thoughtful men as to the result of the elec- 
tions, and that was the prevailing presentiment that the Unionists 
were going to win. But for that, the anxiety of what may without 
presumption (for Lord Eosebery has given his sanction to the phrase) 
be called the educated classes would have been painful and without 
parallel since the Revolution of 1688. All who were acquainted 
with the historical outlines of the making of England — who were 
able to trace the agglutinative process whereby, one by one, the in- 
dependent and hostile septs and principalities occupying the British 
Isles had become welded into one powerful kingdom with a single 
legislature — could foresee nothing but national disaster and discredit 
as the result of the success of a party whose dominant note was Home 
Bule for Ireland, with Home Bute all around as obbligaio accompani- 
ment. Those who boro in mind Lord Salisbury's precise definition 
of the functions of the House of Lords, spoken twenty -seven years 
ago, must have been perfectly conscious that, if the constituencies 
returned the Home Bule paily in a majority, the Peers could not 
refuse to pass a new Home Bule bill. Lord Salisbury's words on the 
occasion referred to were so forcible and clear, and prescribed so ac- 
curately the true limits of the functions of an Upper Chamber in a 
representative Constitution, that they will bear repetition here. 

Mr. Gladstone's Suspensory Bill for the Established Church of 
Ireland had passed the House of Commons by a majority of 54 votes. 
When it came before the Lords, Lord Salisbury was among those 
who strenuously opposed it. But he did so on the grounds, not 
merely of what he regarded as the objectionable policy of the bill, 
but because the national will had not been clearly pronounced. He 
said: — 

"I am not blind to the peculiar obligations which lie on the members of this 
House in consequence of the fixed and unalterable constitution of this House. 
I quite admit — every one must admit— that when the opinion of your countrymen 
10 



146 A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 

has declared itself , and you see that their convictions — their firm, deliberate, sus- 
tained convictions — are in favor of any course, I do not for a moment deny that 
it is your duty to yield. It may not be a pleasant process—, it may even make 
some of you wish that some other arrangement were possible ; but it is quite clear 
that, whereas a Minister or a Government, when asked to do that which is con- 
trary to their convictions, may resign, and a member of the Ck)mmons, when 
asked to support any measure contrary to his convictions, may abandon his seat, 
po such course is open to your lordships. And therefore, on those rare and great 
occasions on which the national will has fully declared itself, I do not doubt 
that your lordships would yield to the opinion of the country ; otherwise the 
machinery of government could not be carried on. " ' 

The bill was rejected by the House of Lords by a majority of 95. 

Then followed the dissolution of Parliament, and a general election 
which turned mainly, almost exclusively, on the question of dises- 
tablishing and disendowing the Protestant Church of Ireland. The 
voice of the polls was given decisively, unmistakably, in favor of 
disestablishment. Early in 1869 Mr. Gladstone brought in a bill to 
give effect to it, — not merely a Suspensory Bill this time, but a full 
measure of disestablishment and disendowment. It passed the House 
of Commons by sweeping majorities, — 118 on the second reading. 
How would the peers deal with it? Mr. John Bright, President of 
the Board of Trade, took the course^ — unprecedented on the part of 
a Cabinet Minister in that more reticent age — of anticipating the de- 
cision of the House of Lords by threatening them, in a letter written 
to the Birmingham Liberal Association, with the consequences of re- 
sisting the national will. Most people expected that the Lords would 
stand firm and throw out a bill to which it was known the great ma- 
jority of them were hostile. They did no such thing. Lord Salis- 
bury once more reiterated the unimpeachable constitutional doctrine 
enunciated in his speech of the previous year, and the House of 
Lords passed the bill by 179 votes to 146.' 

Who, then, could entertain any doubt, if, last July, a Separatist 
majority had been returned, that the author of the above-quoted 
pregnant paragraph was bound to lead the House of Lords to pass a 
bill confeiTing Home Bule on Ireland as soon as it should be sent up 
from the Lower Chamber? It would have been one of " those rare 
and great occasions on which the national will had fully declared 
itself. " 

Behind this spectre of Home Rule stood the shadowy and ominous 
doom that awaited the House of Lords in the event of a Separatist 

1 Hansard's ** Parliamentary Debates/ June 26, 1868. 

2 Ibid., June 17, 1869. 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 147 

triumph at the polls. The fiery cross had been sent round after 
the peers' rejection of the Home Rule bill of 1893. It had been 
brandished, indeed, an ineffectual fire, before the eyes of apathetic 
audiences; but still it smouldered, and the House of Commons was 
told to expect a final grand display of pyrotechnics, in the autumn of 
the present year, to prepare the way for an appeal to the constitu- 
encies early in 1896. The prospect of the removal of all effective 
check on the House of Commons was not one to inspire confidence in 
the future of their country among those able to read the lesson of its 
past history. 

But besides what may perhaps, without giving unnecessary offence, 
be called the patriotic party, the propertied classes had cause for the 
gravest apprehension in the event of the Separatists returning to 
power. A foretaste of what was in store for them had already been 
given in Sir William Harcourt's death duties. It is apparent be- 
yond doubt that these, if allowed to remain unmodified, would bring 
about the irretrievable ruin of the owners of landed property. It 
had scarcely been concealed that this result was within the calcula- 
tions of the author of them, and had been emphasized and com- 
mended from a thousand platforms. It was dinned into the ears of 
rural laborers that the squire and the parson were their hereditary 
oppressors: the death duties were to polish off one of these; dises- 
tablishment might be trusted to settle the other. Now, whatever 
degree of indifference English villagers might feel about Home Rule, 
however imperfectly they might be able to realize the iniquity of the 
House of Lords or to discern any benefit to themselves by its abolition 
or disablement, the squire and the parson were in their midst, tan- 
gible examples of a lot easier than their own. There is no handier 
weapon in the arsenal of the agitator than the envy of the poor to- 
ward the well-to-do: nothing easier than to convince the have-nots of 
the expediency of a rearrangement of incomes. It must be con- 
fessed that this weapon had not been allowed to rust from disuse on 
Separatist platforms and in Separatist journals. Purged of redun- 
dant rhetoric, the appeals to the electors remained, at core, neither 
more nor less than the old revolutionary war-cry, — Le propriete c^est 
le vol! The instinctive affection in the rural breast for familiar in- 
stitutions had not been proof in 1892 against the gospel of envy ; 
why should the villagers rally more briskly around the Church and 
the landlords in 1895? In an evil hour for the fortunes of their 
party, the Gladstonian leaders added another figure to those already 



148 A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 

on the pillory. When the publicans appeared in company with the 
peers, the parsons, and the squires, many who had remained un- 
moved at the doom impending over these felt that the foundations 
of society were indeed shaken. The prominence given to the Local 
Option bill by the leader of the Separatists in the Commons brought 
home to the understanding of the humblest and most remote commu- 
nity an apprehension of change in familiar environment which, once 
aroused, is not easily allayed. 

Thus it came to pass that alarm was spread, not only among those 
who, with greater or less clearness of understanding, perceived 
wherein lay the strength of the United Kingdom and the Empire of 
which she is the centre; not only among those whose legitimate self- 
interest was alarmed for the security of property ; not only among 
those whose common sense warned them of the perils of an uncon- 
trolled elective legislature ; not only among those who conscientiously 
upheld the union of Church and State, — but also, and finally, among 
hard-working men, who discerned in the proposed temperance legis- 
lation a meddlesome and tyrannical interference with their liberty 
and means of moderate enjoyment. In this way the country had 
been so thickly sown with dragons' teeth that it hardly needed the 
notoriously treacherous indications of by-elections ' to warn Ministers 
of the hostile host which was to spring into existence at the first 
breath of dissolution. 

But there was more than this to nourish the general impression 
that the Rosebery Cabinet was on the eve of a reverse. There was 
the knowledge — for it was more than suspicion — that those in the 
inner ring of the Cabinet were at variance among themselves. Curi- 
ously enough, one has only to turn to Lord Rosebery's " Pitt," pub- 
lished in 1891, to read as in a mirror the true cause for the impasse 
to which affairs had been brought. Lord Rosebery is describing 
how, on the death of Rockingham in 1782, the King set aside Port- 

* If aD jthing were wanting to confirm the distrust of experienced parliamen- 
tarians in regard to by-electioDs, it has been afforded by the events of this year. 
Between the general elections of 1892 and 1895, there were thirteen by-elections 
(besides the Cirencester division of Gloucestershire, which changed sides twice) . 
Nine of these were won by Unionist**, of which six were reraptnrrd by the 
Separatists at the general election, namely, Linlithgow, Brigg, Forfar, Huddere- 
fleld, Mid-Norfolk, and Grimsby; and four were taken by the Separatists, of 
wliich one, Walsall, has now returned a Unionist. A still more striking in- 
stance is given by Invemesshire. whicli in June last was won from the Separa- 
tists by a majority of over 600, but in July gave the Unionist a majority of only 
100. 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 149 

land, whom the Cabinet recommended as First Lord of the Treasury, 
and appointed Lord Shelburne, upon which Fox at once resigned. 

^'It was impoesible for him ... to remain ; he could not have continued to 
serve with, much less under, Shelburne. It does not signify which of the two 
was to blame for this mutual mistrust ; that it existed is sufficient. It would 
be too much to maintain that all the members of a Cabinet should feel an im- 
plicit confidence in each other ; humanity — least of all political humanity — could 
not stand so severe a test. But between a Prime Minister in the House of Lords 
and the leader of the House of Commons, sudi a confidence is indispensable. Re- 
sponsibility rests so largely with the one, and articulation with the other, that 
unity of sentiment is the one necessary link that makes a relation, in any case 
difficult, in any way possible. Tlie voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau may 
effect a successful imposture, but can hardly constitute a durable administra- 
Uon." 

Just so : the voice of Rosebery and the hands of Harcourt were not 
even a successful imposture. Lord Rosebery 's frantic efforts to 
establish the necessary " unity of sentiment" between himself and his 
masterful colleague in the Commons were too transparent a trick to 
escape detection, and it was in the air that the performers were to be 
hissed off the stage. 

When the day of battle dawned, the disunion of the Separatist 
leaders became more clearly seen. The Prime Minister, faithful to 
the pledge that the issue should be taken on the maintenance of the 
House of Lords, declared in Albert Hall, on the eve of the dissolution, 
that it should be so taken ; that that question ^^ was the very tap-root 
of all political questions. " Hardly had the echoes of his voice died 
away when Sir William Harcourt was heard vociferating at Derby 
that " he believed from the bottom of his heart that, of all social re- 
forms. Temperance was the most necessary, the most urgent, and the 
most beneficial." Simultaneously Mr. John Morley was passion- 
ately imploring the electors of Newcastle not to believe that there 
was a word of truth in the story that Home Rule was dead, and as- 
suring them that the Liberal party would be the most deeply dis- 
graced in English history if they failed to keep it in the foremost 
place of their programme; while Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman de- 
clared at Stirling that, so far as Scotland was concerned, by far the 
most important part of their policy was Disestablishment. 

Now it requires no very deep insight into physics to understand 
that, if two men ride on a horse, one must ride behind. When four 
leaders of a single party are heard simultaneously proclaiming four 
separate " tap-roots, " — four different reforms, each of which is de- 
clared to be " the most necessary, the most urgent, and the most bene- 



160 A CRISIS IN ENGLISH mSTORY. 

ficial, " — it is clear that three of them are destined to disappoint their 
followers. Sir Charles Dilke has not inaptly described the situa- 
tion as a disputed succession. It is therefore no matter for surprise 
that the Separatist forces, bewildered among so many conflicting 
commands, lost their formation, and what was expected to be a de- 
feat soon became a hopeless rout. The Irish wing were in even worse 
plight. No one had time to weep with Mr. William O'Brien over 
his bankruptcy, as strong men had once wept with him over his 
breeches. The fierceness of faction had shattered the party whose 
leader had once boasted, not without something to show for it, that 
he held the Imperial Parliament in the hollow of his hand. Mr. 
McCarthy was busy rebuking Mr. William Redmond; Mr. William 
Redmond was retorting on Mr. M*Carthy ; and Mr. Healy was revil- 
ing both. The prospect of Home Rule was not, at the moment, a 
very attractive frontispiece for the Separatist programme. In Scot- 
land, the shade of that reproachful exile. Dr. Macgregor, threw a 
gloom across the scene once illumined by the constellation of Midlo- 
thian. The public made up their minds that there would be a 
Unionist majority, and the only question which seriously exercised 
them was what the size of it would be. 

Now there are not wanting many thoughtful persons who strongly 
hold the opinion that it would be better for all parties concerned, and 
the public in general, that all elections should be held on the same 
day, as in the United States. The arguments in favor of this are 
certainly worthy of the consideration they have received ; the most 
important, perhaps, being that the general business of the country 
would not suffer the same degree of interruption as under the pres- 
ent system. There is not as much weight in this as may appear on 
a casual view. It matters not whether the elections be held on a 
single day, or be spread over three weeks : the necessary preparation 
for them will absorb the attention of the public equally in either case 
and for as long a period. More plausible is tlie view that simulta- 
neous election of all members would produce a truer reflection of the 
opinion of the constituencies. The tendency of successive elections 
to follow the impetus set in motion by notable triumphs on one side 
or the other is too well marked to be disregarded. It is not neces- 
sary to accept the explanation of the Unionist triumph in London, 
given by Mr. John Burns to his constituents, as being due to the fact 
that " 25,000* wobbling voters, more or less drunk, had voted with 
beer," in order to recognize the existence of a percentage of " wob- 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 161 

biers" who throw in their lot with the winning side. These prevail to 
decide many an election, and no doubt thej contributed something to 
the result in the contest just brought to a close. There had been 
notable Unionist gains before Sir William Harcourt and Sir Thomas 
Koe were defeated at Derby, and it would be diflBcult to calculate how 
many subsequent gains were ensured by that memorable reverse. 
But this much is known, that the most sanguine estimate formed by 
instructed Unionists of the coming majority did not amount to three 
figures. Captain Middleton, the able and experienced head agent of 
the Conservative party, spoke with confidence of a " spanking ma- 
jority'' of about 80, but there were plenty of others who would 
gladly have compounded for 50. Admitting, therefore, that one- 
third of the majority of 152 may possibly be traced to the influence 
of early Unionist successes, including those at Derby, Newcastle, and 
London, it remains far from certain that this factor, however detri- 
mental to the prospects of the losing party at the time, is adverse to 
the national interest. Few evils are more to be dreaded, under our 
parliamentary system, than government by a narrow majority, whether 
of Conservatives or of Liberals. This evil was accentuated under the 
late Administration by the fact that Ministers relied for their exist- 
ence on the support of a third party — the Irish Nationalists — for 
whose support they had paid an extravagant price in principle and 
prestige. The grand sacrifice of principle was made in 1886, when 
they adopted a Home-Eule policy; the latest loss of prestige was in- 
curred when, last June, their Irish allies forbade them at their peril 
to take a vote of £500 for a statue of Oliver Cromwell. No Admin- 
istration can afford to "climb down." The strong Conservative 
Government of 1886-92 never recovered the ground lost by the with- 
drawal of the Licensing and Compensation clauses in their Local Gov- 
ernment measure. This, too, came on the back of the double humil- 
iation of Sir William Harcourt, who, deferring perforce to the Irish 
veto, had first excluded Ireland from " the most necessary, the most 
urgent, the most beneficial" of social reforms, and limited his temper- 
ance legislation to England and Scotland, and next, in his Budget 
resolutions, left the burden on British beer unlightened and took six- 
pence off Irish whiskey. 

It was this cringing to the tyranny of Parliamentary groups, this 
sacrifice of Imperial to party interests, this clinging to ofiice without 
wielding the power of ofiice, that sent the Separatist party before the 
electors foredoomed not only to defeat, but to disgrace. Now, inas- 



152 A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 

much as a narrow majority of one party over the other is much more 
likely to be the result of elections held simultaneously in every con- 
stituency, whereby the party returned to office must be exposed to 
the risk of finding itself without power, it seems to follow that the 
influence of earlier elections upon succeeding ones is practically an 
advantage to the commonwealth, however irrational it may appear in 
theory. Give us, above all things, a strong Government independ- 
ent of faction. Whether Ministers call themselves Whig or Tory, 
Separatist or Unionist, is a matter of subsidiary moment. " Give 
us," cried Mr. Gladstone from the depths of his heart, in 1885, 
"such a majority as will make us independent of Irish votes!" He 
foresaw too clearly the temptation that would present itself if that 
were refused. It was refused, and the temptation proved too strong 
for him. 

Before turning to consider the position now occupied relatively by 
the Government and the Opposition in the House of Commons, note 
may be taken of some of the most striking incidents of the struggle 
of which it is the result. The first thing that impresses one as re- 
markable is that the Unionist gains have not been achieved in one 
part of Great Britain as distinguished from another, but are gener- 
ally distributed over the whole electoral area. In Ireland, of course, 
the Unionist cause has gained no ground, — has lost it, indeed, to the 
extent of two seats; but to what a plight must those who claim ex- 
clusive right to the title of " Liberal" be reduced before they can 
seek consolation in that. They know that the Nationalist party threw 
their weight into the Gladstonian Liberal scale because it was from 
that quarter alone that they expected to wring the minimum of their 
demands. That expectation must be at a low ebb now ; it remains 
matter for speculation what future relations may be developed be- 
tween these incongruous allies. Meanwhile, to use a homely expres- 
sion, the Separatist can hardly expect either praise or pudding from 
the connection. That which will probably prove the last Parliament 
elected in the nineteenth century * has been returned to ratify the 
legislative union with Ireland which was established by the last Par- 
liament of the eighteenth century. Home Rule will be in the back- 
ground for several sessions to come, and it is notorious that the support 

' People are rIow to give up the belief that the demise of the monarch causes an 
immediate dissolution. That used to be the law, but it was altered by the Re- 
form Act of 1867. In the event (which the whole nation trusts may not occur) 
of Queen Victoria dying within the statutory lifetime of the present Parliament, 
there would be no constitutional necessity for a dissolution. 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 153 

giyen by Irish Nationalists to the other parts of the Newcastle pro- 
gramme was unmitigated log-rolling. That, at least, has received its 
quietus for some years to come. In England, the " predominant part- 
ner" speaks with no uncertain voice. Of the counties, seventeen have 
returned 74 Unionists to 17 Separatists, and five others have sent up 
23 Unionists to 5 Separatists. In Lancashire, the miners' vote — the 
only strand in the Gladstonian rope which stood the strain in all other 
parts of the kingdom, except Stirlingshire — was not strong enough to 
pull through more than 4 Separatists against 22 Unionists. No 
doubt this result was contributed to by indignation against the policy 
which sanctioned the levy by the Indian Government of a duty upon 
British cotton ; indeed few can have taken an active part in the elec- 
tions of any part of the country without being made conscious of the 
growing dissatisfaction with our accepted system of free imports and 
heavily taxed exports.* 

Comparing the votes in Metropolitan constituencies in 1895 with 
those in 1892, it is found that there was an increased Unionist vote 
in all but two of the sixty-three divisions, amounting in the aggre- 
gate to a gain of 21,437 votes. From this must be deducted an in- 
crease of 72 in the Separatist vote in Central Hackney, and of 162 in 
East St. Pancras, both of which seats, however, returned a Unionist, 
leaving a net increase of 21,213 votes on a total electorate of 609,- 
320.' This is balanced by a decrease in the aggregate Separatist 
vote of 23,862. 

The record of London since 1885 stands as follows: 

1885 1886 1892 1895 

Conservative. . 37 Unionist 51 Unionist 37 Unionist 54 

Liberal 25 Separatist ..11 Separatist... 25 Separatist... 8 

To realize the full significance of these figures, the mind must be 
carried back to the general election of 1868, when the solid phalanx 
of London Liberalism was first broken by the Conservatives win- 

* Perhaps candidates for London constituencies can tell their experience in 
this respect. Some have done so already, and what London thinks to-day Eng- 
land is very likely to insist on to-morrow. The ordinary elector, though he may 
comprehend rude diagrams of the big loaf and the little one, has no time to ex- 
amine the truth of Mongredien's dogma that imports are paid for by exports. 
He is apt to ask whether Pharaoh received payment for his com in the shape of 
Israelite manufactures. 

' This total includes the voters in uncontested seats, in which, of course, there 
was no opportunity of testing the Unionist gain or loss. In these cases the fig- 
ures of the last contested elections have been used. 



154 A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 

ning one seat out of four in the City, and one out of two in West- 
minster. 

The result in the great provincial towns is hardly less remarkable. 
Of these, the twenty-eight largest, with a total population of 4,672,- 
104, have returned 60 Unionists and 22 Separatists. The borough 
representation of the United Kingdom since 1885 has been thus: 

1885 1886 1892 1805 

Ck)DserTatiTe. . 86 Unionist 181 Unionist 111 Unionist . . .146 

Liberal 186 Separatist. . . 91 Separatist. . . Ill Separatist. . . 76 

There were two regions in Great Britain where, if anywhere, the 
Separatists might have reasonably expected to hold their own, namely, 
in Scotland and in Wales. The solidarity imparted to the Gladston- 
ian ranks in the North by their great eponymos, the member for 
Midlothian, could hardly, it was thought, have been dissolved during 
the short interval since his retirement from active politics, especially 
in view of the succession to the Premiership having devolved on a 
deservedly popular Scottish peer. For the first ten days of the elec- 
tions it looked as if the Gladstonians were at least to hold their own 
in Scotland, so much so that Mr. Gladstone was tempted into an 
effusion of grateful recognition. Hitherto the old Parliamentary 
hand had been resolutely still ; the veteran had coyly refused to be 
more than an onlooker. But when he witnessed his hard-pressed 
Caledonian legions yielding no ground, he could not refrain from a 
chivalrous note of sympathy, and he wrote to acknowledge that here, 
at least, were faithful found. Alas, it was premature! The letter 
was hardly sealed before three Scottish counties, Argyleshire, Stir- 
lingshire, and Elgin, went over to the victorious party. So far from 
being less successful in Scotland than in England, the Unionist 
cause, as compared with the Conservative as it stood after the 
election of 1885 (the first on the extended franchise) shows a greater 
advance in North Britain than elsewhere. For whereas there were in 
1885 only 10 Conservatives returned for 72 seats, there are now 33 
Unionists, — a gain of 32 per cent; whereas in England the gain can 
be reckoned at only 28 per cent. Moreover, just as the policy of 
prohibition had been overthrown at Derby in the person of Sir Wil- 
liam Harcourt, and Home Rule had got its coup de grdce at Newcastle 
in that of Mr. John Morley, so in Glasgow Sir Charles Cameron 
went down, the protagonist of Scottish Disestablishment. Sir John 
Stirling Maxwell, a young and inexperienced politician, succeeded 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 155 

in turning a minority of nearly 1,200 into a majority of equal mag- 
nitude, thus ousting a member of five-and -twenty years' continuous 
experience. Here is " dear old Scotland's" position: 

1885 1886 1892 1895 

Ck>ii6erTative.. 10 Unionist 29 Unionist 22 Unionist.... 83 

Liberal 62 Separatist. . . 43 Separatist. . . 50 Separatist. . . 89 

The turnover in Scotland was brought about by an increase of 
0,450 in the Unionist vote, and a decrease of 12,138 in the Separ- 
atists. 

Wales, which was supposed to be writhing for the disestablish- 
ment of an alien Church, gave no more genial response to her self- 
constituted champions. Represented in the last Parliament by 28 
Separatists to 2 Unionists, the figures now stand 22 Separatists to 8 
Unionists. Mr. Chamberlain, to whose vigorous exertions and well- 
defined personality may be attributed far more than the mere Union- 
ist supremacy in the Midlands, has claimed for North Worcestershire 
the distinction of having passed more emphatic censure on the late 
Government than any other constituency in the United Kingdom. A 
Separatist majority of 2,158 in 1892 was there turned into a Union- 
ist majority of 988 in 1895, a difference of 3,146 votes, representing 
a turnover of 1,573 electors. Palmam qui meruit — the meed must be 
bestowed elsewhere; it has been won in Wales itself. In Merthyr 
Tydvil the Separatist majority of 9,644 in 1892 has melted away to 
2,725 in 1895, a difference of 6,919 votes, representing the turn- 
over of 3,459 electors. One remarkable feature of the Welsh elec- 
tions is this, that whereas the aggregate Separatist vote has remained 
nearly stationary, showing a decrease of only 247 on the figures of 
1892, the Unionist poll has grown by 9,450 votes. 

The defeated^ party are bravely busy in trying to extract some 
consolation from political arithmetic. It has been said that the num- 
ber of seats won by the Unionists is out of proportion to the total 
number of votes polled. There never was a general election yet 
when the losers have not applied this balm to their wounded feelings. 
It is a floating balance that usually turns elections: call them " wob- 
blers" if they are against you, — " converts" if they are on your own 
side. But not since 1832 has there been an election where the 
'* wobblers" had less influence on the result than they had last July. 
That the movement was one of masses, not of molecules, was well 
brought out in the analysis of the elections published in the " Times" 



156 A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 

of July 31, where the aggregate votes on either side in Great 
Britain, exclusive of Ireland, were shown as compared with the 
figures of 1892. 



1892 . . . 
1895 . . . 


Unionist 
Votes 

2,139,502 
2,267,555 


Unionist 
Members 
292 
390 

increase 


Separatist Separatist 
Votes Members 
2,105,589 275 
2,012,583 177 




128,053 


93, 006 decrease 



— ** a difference of 221, 059 votes, equivalent to the conversion of 110, 529 Separatist 
into Unionist voters, or about 5^ per cent on the Separatist poll : that is to say, 
out of every 19 who voted Separatist in 1892 one has been converted into a 
Unionist. " 

There can be no doubt that some part of the change was brought 
about by the vague fear stirred in the minds of quiet, well-to-do 
people by the Anarchist and Socialist movements. Life is too short, 
and for most people too busy, to admit of analysis and understanding 
of all the so-called advanced platforms. Anarchism and socialism 
are in theory opposed to one another, for the Anarchist wants to 
sweep away all authority, while the Socialist aims at government 
interference at every point where the citizen enjoys liberty under 
present conditions. But in confounding the two schemes and using 
" Anarchist" and " Socialist" as synonymous terms, the popular judg- 
ment is not far wrong in the conclusion to which it comes, for an- 
archism and socialism both aim at the destruction of that scheme of 
government under which this country — and every other country that 
has become great — has attained to security, prosperity, and internal 
tranquillity. Nothing has been more conspicuous in the general elec- , 
tion than the insignificance of the Anarchist, Socialist, and Independ- 
ent Labor vote. By a happy coincidence the Social -Democratic 
Federation held their annual conference at Birmingham immediately 
after the close of the polls. This organization — which, to quote the 
words of one of its officials (even the Social -Democratic Federa- 
tion is conventional enough to have its president, deputy-presidents, 
and staflf), is not national, but international — has been in existence in 
England for fifteen years. The president informed the conference 
that 5,000 propagandist meetings had been held during the last year. 
Inasmuch as the Federation was able to run only four unsuccessful 
candidates at the elections, who polled an aggregate of between 2,000 
and 3,000 votes, it does not seem that their doctrines have taken 
deep root on British soil. Their kinship to anarchism may be traced 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 157 

in the first business discussed on the second day of the conference, 
namely, the circulation of leaflets entitled " A Few Facts about John 
Bums." These facts, it may be assumed, were not complimentary to 
the only avowed Socialist returned to the new Parliament. But Mr. 
Bums seems quite ready for civil war in the Socialist ranks, for on 
Sunday, August 4, he regaled his constituents with his view of the 
causes for the capture of London by the Unionists. This, he said, 
was partly owing to the fact that " 25,000 wobbling voters, more or 
less drunk, had voted with beer," and partly to " lies served up from 
the Social-Democratic well.*' We may leave Mr. Burns to justify 
his compliments to the democracy of London, and to settle accounts 
with his Social Democratic critics, with the comfortable assurance that 
the social revolution, for which the conference cheered in separating, 
is not quite so imminent as it might be if its well-wishers could 
agree among themselves. But it may be observed in passing that 
Mr. Bums, in attributing the result of the elections to the influence 
of "beer, Bible, briber}', and blackguardism," was only uttering a 
coarse paraphrase of the explanation proceeding from other sources. 
The majority of 28 in the House of Commons last June was the 
mandate of the democracy to recast the constitution ; the majority of 
152 is the voice of the publican, the parson, and the Primrose dame. 
This, of course, is not the real opinion of the responsible leaders of 
the defeated party. They know what it all means, that they must 
bide their time and recast their policy. Their knowledge is shared 
by the more thoughtful of the rank and file. " Unfortunately," con- 
fessed the chairman of Mr. Causton^s meeting in West Southwark on 
July 29, " the Liberal party has undertaken too much, and has suc- 
ceeded in irritating everj* class by attempting legislation for which 
people are not quite ready." 

But besides what the Separatist party has done, they have had to 
bear the odium of that for which they are only indirectly responsible. 
The Cabinet of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Rosebery cannot be justly 
accused of having actively encouraged the aims of anarchism and so- 
cialism. But when an Administration is at its wits* end to scrape 
together a majority, it draws to itself all the extreme groups on the 
lookout for Ministers to do their work. The Separatists had accepted 
Home Rule as the price of the Irish support; were the electors to 
blame if they believed them capable of paying a similar price for the 
Socialist vote? It is the vaunt of the Socialists to be reckoned as the 
Extreme Left, and the distaste of our people for socialism could be 



158 A CRISIS IN ENGLISH HISTORY. 

expressed only in those constituencies where no Socialist candidates 
were mn, by voting against candidates of the Left. 

One value of a general election is found in that it is a kind of 
stock-taking, and it is a reassuring outcome of this one that Socialist 
and Anarchist propaganda, which have spread so widely among our 
German cousins and French neighbors, have been shown to have 
made little headway among our own people. There are Socialists 
among us, just as there are neo-Buddhists; there are Anarchists as 
there are pious Jacobites; but, thus far, they are a negligible quan- 
tity. Busy and comfortable people regard them as the same thing; 
an ugly bogy, indeed, but still a long way off. 

It is probable that the direct influence of the trade unions upon 
the elections fell far short of what was expected. In all the strikes 
brought about by these organizations there has always been a consid- 
erable minority of members, anxious to continue at work, and only 
yielding to pressure in desisting. These men have felt themselves 
the victims of tyranny, — and tyranny of the many is as deeply re- 
sented as tyranny of the few. Therefore, though the officials of 
trade unions are generally Radical, and instruct members to vote that 
way, it is not possible to enforce obedience. Thus it came to pass 
that at Derby and Crewe, the headquarters respectively of the Midland 
and London & North Western railway men, the Unionists achieved 
signal victories. This is all the more remarkable because the chief 
act of the Separatist Government affecting the industrial classes was 
a measure promoted by the officials of the Amalgamated Society of 
Railway Workers, restricting the hours of labor. It may be supposed 
that the boon was not appreciated by those whom it was intended 
to conciliate, who were thereby deprived of earning overtime pay. 

One other feature in the conduct of the late Administration con- 
tributed appreciably to its downfall. Their sincerity was, rightly or 
wrongly, the subject of suspicion. There were ugly stories afloat 
about the honors conferred on Lord Rosebery's recommendation, but 
it was not necessary to go so far as to believe that peerages and bar- 
onetcies were cynically exchanged for contributions to the election 
chest. It was quite enough to throw a doubt on the bona fides of the 
projected attack on the Lords to see the leaders who were to direct it 
distributing peerages among their followers. If hereditary lawgiving 
was the iniquity it was described, was there not guilt in creating 
more hereditary lawgivers? From one end of the country to the 
other this puzzled some and disgusted others. 



A CRISIS IN ENGLISH mSTORY. 169 

There is some obscurity hanging over the future of a subject 
xvhich, trivial as it may seem, has never yet been without its impor- 
tance in Parliamentary warfare in Britain, — namely, the future no- 
menclature of the principal political parties. For the present, the 
terms " Unionist" and " Separatist" are convenient enough, but it is 
obvious that they are only serviceable j[)ro /toe vice. It is not likely that 
the Opposition, in preparing for the next appeal to the country, will 
be so blind as to put Home Bule in the front, or, indeed, in any part 
of their programme. If, then, the maintenance of the Union be not 
at stake at the next general election, wherein will the titles " Union- 
ist" and " Separatist" be appropriate? " Nationalist" — a term which 
best expresses the patriotic confederation supporting the present 
Government — has been appropriated as the common designation of 
Pamellites and Anti-Pamellites. " Conservative" will not serve, be- 
cause the Liberal-Unionists, who were threatened with annihilation, 
have returned 77 strong instead of 42, and their importance can 
hardly be oveiTated. " Constitutional" has far too many syllables, 
— in short, the name has not yet been minted which shall serve to 
distinguish the Unionist Party of the twentieth century. 

Howbeit, we may rest content with the substance, and leave its 
future designation to be the spontaneous outcome of events. The 
empire has been delivered from the nightmare of the last ten years. 
Future historians shall describe how the nations of the world looked 
on, shrugging their shoulders, while England, alternately their model 
and their warning, was engaged during that space of time in the con- 
troversy whether she should loosen the girdle that held her robes of 
power together, and how her people finally declared that it should 

not be. 

Herbert Maxwell. 



CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 

TELA.T the " uses of adversity" are " sweet" is a dictum from which 
one is sometimes tempted to dissent. That they are salutary is be- 
yond question; and no one will grudge a defeated party or an un- 
successful candidate the austere edification which can be drawn from 
a critical study of recent misfortune. Such a study I am invited to 
undertake in The Forum, and I willingly comply with the invitation. 

I must begin my task by admitting the full severity of the blow 
which we have sustained. I have no sympathy with knock-kneed 
attempts to show that an overwhelming defeat, lightly regarded, is a 
moral victory. I have no interest in complicated statistics which 
only prove that, if every one had voted differently, different results 
would have ensued. My task is limited to answering the Editor^s 
question. What causes, in my judgment, contributed most to our de- 
feat? In estimating those causes I do not presume to speak for my 
colleagues in the late Government, for the Liberal party as a whole, 
or even for that Badical section of it with which I am especially as- 
sociated. I rely on my experience in my own constituency, enlarged 
by what I have seen and heard in those many districts of the country 
which I have visited for electioneering or speech-making purposes 
during the last three years. 

At the general election of 1892 I was returned for the Northern 
Division of Bedfordshire. Out of an electorate of 13,686, I polled 
5,600 votes: my opponent 5,056. At the general election of 1895, 
out of an electorate of 13,744, I polled 5,376: my opponent 5,643. 
So far, therefore, as the figures go, it would seem that 5,000 
electors stood firm on either side; that 224 went over from me to my 
opponent; and that my opponent procured 363 new supporters, who 
had not been on the register — or, at any rate, had not voted — at the 
former election. If this be so, it represents, of course, no very 
sweeping change of opinion — no very considerable turnover of votes; 
but it fairly represents the amount of change which, occurring all over 
the country, has given to Lord Salisbury his huge majority. In 
some cases, of course, the change was emphatic, and the turnover 



CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 161 

enormous. Those cases, however, would not have produced the 
present result, if they had not been supplemented by the many 
where, as in my own, a small majority for the Liberals in 1892 was 
transformed into a still smaller majority for the Tories in 1895. 

If any constituency was thus fairly typical in respect of the 
amount of change which it manifested, it was not less so in its 
character and history. North Bedfordshire is almost entirely rural. 
It contains no large town (for the borough of Bedford, though in the 
Northern Division geographically, is outside politically, having a 
member of its own) : it has no considerable factories, no collieries, no 
mines. It contains three small towns, with the usual proportion of 
gentlefolks, tradespeople, and artisans. There are three or four great 
landowners, a lai^e number of farmers, a sprinkling of professional 
men ; of course in every parish an Established clergyman, and in most 
a Dissenting minister. But after all these deductions it remains true 
that the great bulk of the voters are agricultural laborers, and live 
by daily work on the land at an average wage of twelve shillings a 
week. In brief. North Bedfordshire is a fair sample of the rural 
constituencies of England. Its electoral history is that in 1885 — the 
first year in which the agricultural laborers had the vote — it gave a 
Liberal majority of 1,615; in 1886 it gave a Unionist majority of 
482; in 1892 it returned me, a Gladstonian Radical, by 540; and in 
1895 it rejected me by 267. 

Such being the nature of the constituency with which I had to 
deal, and the result a defeat for Liberalism, I proceed to answer the 
question as to the causes which chiefly operated against us. I take 
those which have seemed to me most potent; and I take them not 
according to their respective importance, but rather in the chrono- 
logical order in which, one by one, they became apparent to me. 

1. I put first what is described, in a variety of metaphors, as 
" the wave," " the turn of the tide," and " the swing of the pendu- 
lum," — in other words, the tendency of democratic constituencies to 
change from side to side at successive elections. This tendency has 
been manifest in England ever since we have had a wide suffrage 
protected by the ballot. In the old days of open voting, the shame 
of tergiversation helped to keep the ordinary voter straight. But 
now that, under the ballot, each voter is, as Junius said, " the de- 
pository of his own secret, " he votes whichever way his settled con- 
viction or his passing fancy may suggest. " These men have been in 
long enough. Let's give the other side a turn, " — is an electoral for- 
11 



162 CAUSES OF THE UBERAL DEFEAT. 

mula often heard, and still oftener acted on. The suffrage was first 
given to the artisans in towns in 1867; to the agricultural laborers 
in the country in 1884. The ballot was established in 1872. The 
general election of 1868 gave a majority to the Liberals; that of 
1874, a majority to the Tories; that of 1880, a great majority to the 
Liberals. The election of 1885 made the Liberals equal to the Tories 
and the Irish combined. This equality was disturbed by the intro- 
duction of Home Rule under Mr. Gladstone, who was heavily beaten 
in the election of 1886, and restored to power, with a small majority 
of Liberals and Irish combined, in 1892. This year the Liberals 
have been defeated more heavily than ever in their previous history. 
In view of these electoral permutations, it is surely impossible to 
doubt the importance of " the wave" as a factor in all political cal- 
culations; and it was to " the wave" and its probable effect that I first 
turned my thoughts when, on the close of the election of 1892, we 
began to forecast the future. It has proved to be of Atlantic size and 
force, and some of the voyagers whom it has submerged ruefully 
remark that, in anticipation, they scarcely did justice to its powers. 
2. It is difficult to overestimate the effect of the retirement of 
Mr. Gladstone. It is true that, in the elections of 1874 and 1886, 
Mr. Gladstone's leadership did not save his party from defeat; but 
it is to be borne in mind that in both those cases his recent policy 
had alienated great masses of his supporters, who deliberately ab- 
stained from the polls because they disapproved of his dealings, in 
the one case, with public education, and in the other, with Home 
Rule. Against a deliberate resolve of that kind, even Mr. Glad- 
stone's personality could not prevail. But his supreme value as 
an electioneering force lay in this: that in those who followed him 
he inspired a personal devotion which was akin to religious fanat- 
icism. His moral enthusiasm infected his disciples, and, led by 
him, they went into an election as into a crusade, and fought as only 
men can fight who are consumed by self-sacrificing fervor for a 
sacred cause. In a contest such as that through which we have just 
passed, this personal enthusiasm would have been of incalculable 
value. Our action had not, as in 1874 and 1886, given distinct 
offence to our own people ; there was no determination among our 
former supporters to vote against us or to abstain. But there was a 
certain amount of indifference, listlessness, and languor, and against 
evils of that kind Mr. Gladstone was omnipotent. Himself inspired, 
he inspired his followers, and each follower transmitted the sacred 



CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 163 

spark of enthusiasm to two or three languid or careless souls who 
might otherwise, through sheer indifference to political issues, have 
come over to the party of reaction. 

** We that had loved him bo, followed him, honored him, 
Lived in his mild and magnificent eye, 
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents, 
Made him our Master to live and to die. " 

We knew the immensity of our loss when, on that dismal 1st of 
March, 1894, we realized that we had heard him for the last time in 
the House of Commons. 

3. Next I must put bad times. I have neither the skill nor the 
space to discuss the causes and cure of commercial depression. The 
rural electors do not concern themselves with the theory, but they 
are keenly alive to the fact. Indeed it would be difficult to ignore 
an evil which makes itself felt pretty impartially by squires, farmers, 
clergymen, artisans, and laborers. Times are bad: there is little 
money about, not much work, and a chance of less. By some pro- 
cess of reasoning not easy to follow, these evils are traced to the 
Liberal Government, and those who ought to know better trade on the 
credulity and the sufferings of the least-instructed class by suggest- 
ing that, if the Tories get back into power, there will be an increase 
in work and wages. " Vote for Compton and better times" was my 
opponent's placard : and in vain I replied that " Vote for Russell and 
more rain" would be quite as reasonable a cry. But the sufferers 
from bad times were not only led to expect benefit from a change of 
Government; they were also menaced with even greater distress if the 
Liberal candidate were returned. " If you vote for the Liberal, there 
will be no work this winter, " was an ambiguous but intelligible warn- 
ing freely used; and the careful avoidance of any direct or personal 
threat made it impossible to proceed legally against the author of the 
suggestion. When we think how very little an agricultural laborer 
earns; what it means to him and to his family to lose a week's work 
or a shilling of wages ; and when we further remember that he is a 
tenant-at-will in his cottage, and can be evicted without appeal by an 
offended landlord, — the wonder is, not that a handful of voters 
yielded to pressure, but that the great bulk stand as firm as rocks in 
their simple loyalty to honest conviction. 

4. I am not disposed to lay much stress on territorial influence. In 
my own case I believe that every squire except one — a notable excep- 
tion certainly — was against me ; and two peers of enormous wealth 



164 CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 

were understood to be straining every nerve for my defeat. Yet we 
did not find that in the villages more immediately under these great 
men's domination we suffered any special loss, nor did we ever hear 
of a single voter who voted against us because the Duke of B. or Lord 
C. wished it. The influence was rather felt in an indirect fashion. 
The tenant-fanners were emboldened by their landlords' known 
wishes to put extra pressure on their laborers; and the very long 
purses on which my opponent was able to draw gave him unlimited 
funds for the expensive work of organization. It must be remarked 
in this connection that an English electoral law, while rigidly pro- 
portioning what a candidate himself may spend to the number of 
electors, in no wav limits the amount of extraneous aid which 
friendly individuals or associations may send to his assistance. 
Under cover of this palpable anomaly there has recently sprung up 
a custom of importing into each constituency, at election-time, a host 
of mysterious strangers who profess to come from Ulster, and, spend- 
ing money freely in the public-houses, and visiting from door to door, 
propagate blood-curdling stories of the religious persecution which 
Home Rule would entail. It can scarcely be doubted that these 
stories, preposterous as they are, produce some effect on earnest but 
timid Nonconformists. 

5. This leads me, from general considerations, to a special ques- 
tion of pure politics. How did Home Rule affect the election of 
1895? In 1886 Home Rule was a new policy. Great numbers of 
good Liberals were frightened and perplexed by it, and, as I said 
above, deliberately abstained from voting, — some even voted against 
us ; and the result was a great Liberal defeat. But during the si x years 
which elapsed between 1886 and the next election, a great change took 
place. I cannot say that, in my opinion, Home Rule ever excited 
great enthusiasm in England ; but the Liberal electors were gradually 
led by Mr. Gladstone's impassioned advocacy, and by the more 
humdrum argumentation of his supporters, to recognize the reason- 
ableness of the Irish claim to self-government, and its essential con- 
sonance with the fundamental idea of Liberalism. Fears of religious 
persecution, of separation between Ireland and England, and of 
danger to life and property under a system of Home Rule, gradually 
faded away from most of the minds which had harbored them. No 
doubt a certain percentage of Libeml voters had gone over to the 
Tory or "Unionist" camp, and remained there; but the great bulk 
of those who had been frightened away by Home Rule in 1886 had 



CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 165 

returned to their Liberal allegiance by 1892. For my own part I 
saw no marked alteration in this respect between 1892 and 1895. 
The Liberal electors seemed to have made up their minds that the 
Irish claim to self-government was jnst and sound, and to have 
finally accepted the theory of Home Rule. I could not, however, 
fail to observe that two or three considerations tended to modify 
their zeal for the Irish policy, which still, as a matter of abstract 
reason, they accepted. In the first place, the shape in which our 
Home Bule bill left the House of Commons, retaining the Irish 
members in the Imperial Parliament for all purposes, English as 
well as Imperial, was not acceptable. Personally, I have always been 
a strong advocate for the retention of the Irish members, as the sym- 
bol and saf^uard of Imperial Unity, and to that view I adhere. But 
it is obvious that, if they are to be retained, any plan which enables 
them to vote on purely English, as distinct from Imperial, questions, 
can be only a temporary arrangement, pending a complete system of 
all-round devolution under a central Parliament. The nature of this 
makeshift, and the necessity for it, were difficult to explain; and our 
opponents made great capital out of a plan which seemed to put Eng- 
land under the power of the Irish members, while they, in their local 
Legislature, would be exempt from our interference. 

In the second place, I found that we had made a mistake in re- 
fusing to apply the word " subordinate" to the Irish legislature which 
we proposed to create. We had won the election of 1892 by reiter- 
ating, in Mr. Gladstone's words, that the Irish legislature was to be 
" subject in all things to the Imperial Parliament, and liable, if need 
be, to be corrected by it. " We held that the fact of subordination 
was woven into the very substance and texture of our bill ; and we 
held that there was no need to employ a distinctive word, which is 
not applied to our Colonial legislatures, when the thing which the 
word represents was abundantly secured. But it was not difficult 
for the enemies of Home Rule to make it appear as if, in rejecting 
the word, we had rejected the thing; and the effects which this mis- 
representation produced led me to think that we had made a mistake 
in rejecting the word. 

In the third place, the internal disputes of the Irish Party to 
some extent alienated English sympathy from their cause; and 
finally the bulk of our voters, even while they still adhered to Home 
Bule, were heartily tired of the whole subject. Ireland, Scotland, 
and Wales have repeatedly declared in favor of our Irish policy; but, 



166 CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 

as Lord Rosebery rightly said, in a much-misrepresented phrase, ** the 
predominant member of the partnership of the Three Kingdoms" 
must be much more thoroughly converted before that policy can be 
translated into fact. 

6. The sixth cause was the influence of the Established Church. 
The parochial clergy of my Division were, as far as I know, univer- 
sally opposed to me. Their opposition was, I am sure, thoroughly 
conscientious, and, as I am a stanch advocate of Disestablishment, 
was not to be wondered at. The influence of pastoral admonitions, 
appeals to religious sentiment, visits of Church workers, and the like, 
was probably great. All, however, was conducted so decently and 
discreetly that I am unable to estimate the precise amount of effort 
put forth, or to gauge its effect. I cannot believe that the simple vil- 
lagers were told by the inhabitants of the vicarage that I wished to pull 
down the parish church, or that any one who voted for me would 
have to look elsewhere than to the vicarage for coals at Christmas or 
soup in illness. Scarcely more credible is the report that a great lady 
in the county announced that her country house would be closed, and 
all the material benefits which flow from it into the village suspended, 
if the Liberal candidate were returned. Scarcely credible, I say, are 
these stories; and yet I am afraid we must confess that here in Eng- 
land the women of the privileged classes have not yet learned to play 
the game of politics with strict regard for the rules of fair play ; and 
that they cannot always resist the temptation to promote even a sacred 
cause by poisonous whispers and untraceable innuendoes directed 
against the character and private life of the candidate whom they 
oppose. 

7. Our record of work during our three years of power did not 
powerfully affect the imagination of the voters. They look for re- 
sults. They are never impressed by the plea of parliamentary ob- 
struction. They expect a Government to govern, and a majority to 
prevail. They regarded the time spent in the House of Commons on 
bills which the Lords rejected as pure waste; and even our best 
handiwork did not serve us much. The poor did not feel the benefit 
of Sir William Harcourt's great Budget. Mr. Asquith's admirable 
Factory Act did not appeal to rural voters; and our Parish Councils 
Act did us positive and twofold harm. It disappointed the laborers, 
who have not so far derived as much advantage from it as we had led 
them to expect; and it disgusted the farmers who had been rejected 
when they stood for the Councils of their respective parishes. 



CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 167 

8. The circumstances of the dissolution were unlucky. Country 
people could not understand ^hy we should resign office because of 
a snatched vote on an administrative detail. The fact that we re- 
signed instead of dissolving deprived us of the opportunity of ap- 
pealing to the country on some clear and definite issue. We waited 
to take the position of the attacking party; and Lord Salisbury's 
sagacious plan of dissolving in silence, without pledge, promise, or 
programme, left us nothing to attack. Thus we had to go to the 
country, neither affirming nor denying, neither constructing nor de- 
stroying, — and the country seemed disposed to ask why we came to it 
at all. 

9. I have taken out of its chronological order, and reserved for 
the last place in the list of our causes of defeat, that which was by 
far the most potent of all. Every cause which I have enumerated 
did us a greater or less degree of harm, but all of them together 
could not have ruined us without the assistance of the Local Veto 
Bill. I record this opinion with unfeigned regret. "Driven, "in 
Mr. Gladstone's phrase, " by the slow and resistless forces of convic- 
tion," I have for twelve years advocated the establishment of local 
and popular control over the traffic in intoxicating liquors. I have 
done so both because I believed that it would tend to diminish 
drunkenness by lessening the temptation to drink, and because I re- 
garded it as a natural and necessary part of any genuine system of 
local self-government. On those grounds I advocated it at the elec- 
tion of 1892, and ever since at the long series of meetings which I 
have addressed between that time and this. I have spoken in towns 
and villages of every size ; to some hundred meetings of my own 
supporters; and in a dozen constituencies besides my own I have 
addressed crowded audiences of enthusiastic Liberals, who took up 
every point with ready apprehension, and signified their sympathy 
by the most emphatic tokens. Each successive point in our Liberal 
programme elicited louder cheers than the last, — until we came to 
Local Veto. Then a deathly gloom came down, like a thick cold 
fog, upon the meeting, and seemed to choke the speaker. Every 
man who has the faculty or the habit of public speech speaks, as it 
were, with his finger on the pulse of his audience; he feels, almost 
before the words are out of his mouth, whether or not the pulse vi- 
brates sympathetically. In discoursing of Local Veto, the speaker 
felt in vain for that responsive vibration ; nay, the pulse seemed to 
elude his touch ; he and his hearers were for the moment separated 



168 CAUSES OF THE LIBERAL DEFEAT. 

by an intervening cloud which no rhetoric could pierce. Where, 
five minutes before, all had been enthusiasm, approval, sympathy, 
and applause, there was now the silence of the tomb, or at the most 
a lonely cheer from a little knot of convinced teetotallers. 

Now this marked and unmistakable disapprobation was not di- 
rected against the particular bill which Sir William Harcourt had 
lately introduced, — a much better one, let me hasten to add, than its 
predecessors, inasmuch as it provided for limitation as well as pro- 
hibition. That bill was vulnerable in several points, which its ene- 
mies were not slow to detect; but it is needless to indicate these 
now, because what the voters objected to, so far as I could see, 
was not this or that detail, but the very principle on which the 
bill was founded. . " We don't want to have our public-house shut 
up, " — was the cry of the rural voter ; and everything which tended 
in the direction of veto he cordially mistrusted and disliked. Of 
course it was easy enough to correct misrepresentations of our 
bill ; to point out that we were only giving to the community the 
power which the irresponsible magistrates now have ; to show that, 
instead of " robbing a poor man of his beer, " we were giving him 
the key of his own cellar: it was all in vain, — nothing could make 
the idea of Local Veto go down. If the Act was not to be enforced, 
it was folly to pass it: if it was, the poor man would be the sufferer. 
That was, so far as I could see, the universal feeling ; and when we 
remember that the agricultural laborer has practically no amusement 
except the public-house, and no physical enjoyments except beer and 
tobacco, can even the most rigid moralist among us blame him if he 
looks askance at legislation which would imperil those cherished al- 
leviations of his daily toil? 

For my own part, I remain a firm believer in the principle of 
Local Control, and I only wish I were not obliged to admit that the 
bulk of my countrymen seem blind to its merits. In this matter of 
the reform of the liquor laws, as in so many others, it is true that 
the Liberal Party has fallen by its own virtue. We have loved 
righteousness and hated iniquity. We have attacked abuses wher- 
ever we saw them ; and all the powers of evil have been banded to- 
gether to resist our onslaught. 

In this enumeration of causes of defeat, it will be observed that 
I have said nothing about the action of the Independent Labor 
Party, or the attitude of the Roman Catholic voters toward Denomi- 
national Education. Other candidates might have much to say on 



CAUSES OF THE UBERAL DEFEAT. 169 

these topics, but they do not enter into my personal experience. 
Intimidation, lies, and bribery by means of free beer no doubt 
played a great part; but unhappily they are of too constant occur- 
rence at our elections to call for special comment here. 

I may be asked, if these causes ruined us, what would have 
helped us? I answer briefly: 

(a) A reasonable system of old-age pensions, discriminating be- 
tween the deserving and the undeserving. 

(b) Electoral reform (one man, one vote; a shorter period of 
qualifying residence ; all elections on one day). 

(c) A combined, authorized, and resolute attack on the wrecking 
power of the House of Lords. In putting this in the forefront of his 
policy, my friend and leader, Lord Rosebery, showed, in my humble 
judgment, that he knew the temper of the Liberal party ; and it is 
much to be r^retted that our abrupt retirement from office interfered 
with a concerted movement of the whole Liberal army against the 
irresponsible power of hereditary lawmakers. 

But I have already answered the Editor's question, and I must 
not go on supplementing my reply with unsolicited opinions. 

George W. E. Bussell. 



"WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 

I HAVE taken the question which forms the title of this article 
from some words which Carlyle borrrowed or translated from Goethe. 
Why did we have the general election just now? — Whence came the 
results that we all can see only too clearly? — and Whither is the 
change of government to bring us? 

I may as well confess that I for one was surprised at the result of 
the election, — at the overwhelming victory it has given to the Tory 
party. Yet perhaps I ought not to have been surprised. Every- 
body — or almost everybody — on both sides of the House of Commons 
was saying that if the Liberal Government had to go out at such a 
time as the present, the Liberals would be defeated at a general elec- 
tion by a crushing majority. Possibly I am somewhat skeptical as 
to political prophecies, and I am inclined to believe that what every- 
body — or almost everybody — predicts is not likely to come true. Not 
many days before the dissolution I had some talk in the House of 
Commons with Sir Richard Temple, a strong Tory, but a very clear- 
beaded observer of political affairs. He assured me that the Tories 
would come into power with a majority of a hundred. I scoffed at 
the idea. I was quite mistaken, as scoffers generally are. Sir 
Richard Temple's estimate was not beyond the truth. No such 
wave of reaction to Conservatism has drenched the country since the 
general election of 1874. 

Then, as now, the dissolution of Parliament came upon the pub- 
lic as a surprise. It will not, perhaps, be without interest for Amer- 
ican readers if I give a few lines of description of that catastrophe, 
which Mr. Gladstone himself said in the House of Commons, at 
the opening of the new Parliament, showed a larger transfer of seats 
from one party to another than had ever occurred since 1831. The 
dissolution in 1874 was brought about by Mr. Gladstone's own hand. 
He had had some five years of power. He had a giant's strength, 
and he had used it like a giant. At no former time were so many 
great measures of genuine reform forced through in the same admin- 
istration as it was the success of Mr. Gladstone to accomplish between 



"WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 171 

the close of 1868 and the opening of 1874. But at the latter date he 
began to see that the reform movement was wearing itself out. The 
impulse which he had given had spent its strength. England proper 
is, on the whole, a country of Conservatives. It is kept up to its 
reform work by the voting power of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. 
In England, the landlord class; the rich people; the well-to-do bour- 
geoisie ; the folks who really belong to society, and the folks who try 
to pass off as belonging to it; the inhabitants of seaside villa resi-^\^ 
dences; the shopkeepers and traders of all kinds who flourish on the 
patronage of the higher orders; and most of the professional classes, 
— these and many other sets are as a rule distinctly conservative. 
Mr. Gladstone, then, saw in 1874 that the tide was already turning 
against him and his great reforming projects. Two or three by- 
elections went to the advantage of the Tories, and he suddenly made 
up his mind to appeal to the country and have the whole question 
settled by a general election. The results of that election proved 
disastrous to the Liberal party, and Mr. Gladstone was out of office for 
six years. This later time the suddenness of the general election 
was nearly as great a surprise to the country as in 1874. It was 
brought about by whait we call a " snap division" in the House of 
Commons, to which nobody at first seemed disposed to attach the 
slightest importance. Lord Bosebery's Government nevertheless 
took it to heart, and resolved to resign office, and the Queen without 
remonstrance accepted their resignation. Lord Salisbury formed a 
new Administration and straightway appealed to the country, — and 
we see how the country has made answer to the appeal. 

What were the principal causes of this almost complete revolt 
against Liberalism ? The causes were many ; the influences were com- 
plex. In the first place there was the inevitable fading of popular 
enthusiasm which came when the magnificent figure of Mr. Gladstone 
was no longer to be seen in the front of the fight. The man does 
not live who could really take Mr. Gladstone's place. " Measures, 
not men," is a sound political axiom; and when political life is 
wholly made up of philosophers, then indeed people will doubtless 
only consider as to the value of a measure and not as to the inspir- 
ing genius of a man. But that time has not yet arrived, and it is 
therefore not surprising if the withdrawal of Mr. Gladstone from 
public life should have left a blank and a chill behind it. Then the 
condition of Lord Bosebery's health prevented him at a most critical 
time from being a fighting Prime Minister. He was compelled by 



172 "WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 

no fault of his own to be little more than a phantom statesman. All 
that had a depressing eflfect upon the public. Sir William Harcourt 
— a fighting statesman if ever such there were — did gladiatorial work 
in the House of Commons, but somehow he has never succeeded in 
obtaining a wide and genial personal popularity. What was of much 
more importance, however, was that Sir William Harcourt had given 
out that he was determined to attach the fortunes of himself and his 
party to the fate of the Local Veto bill. This bill is a scheme to give 
to localities in England the power, by means of a certain majority, 
of abolishing or reducing the number of public-houses. 

As everybody knows, the liquor traffic in England is one of the 
mightiest of all vested interests. The influence of the advocates of 
temperance, who are led by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, is undoubtedly 
very strong, and has the almost universal support of the " Noncon- 
formist conscience" ; but as a rule men may be trusted to fight more 
stiffly for a personal interest than for a public principle. There are 
also in England large numbers of quiet persons who detest drunken- 
ness as much as any of their neighbors can, but who do not see why 
a dozen moderate drinkers should be interfered with because one man 
drinks too much. Many peopile take the same general view of the 
subject that I take myself. I should probably have voted for the 
Local Veto bill as an honest attempt to deal with a terrible social 
evil, not only because I thought any reasonable experiment worth 
trying, but also because I like the principle which gives to localities 
a control over their own affairs. I should, however, have given my 
vote without any real faith in the success of such a measure. For 
many years I took a keen interest in watching the working of sim- 
ilar legislation in the United States and Canada, and I was not en- 
couraged to hope for much from the operation of any such law. My 
impression is that, outside the professed teetotallers and some of the 
ministers of every denomination in England, nobody cared about the 
measure except those who thoroughly detested it, and who felt that 
their trade interests were seriously threatened. Two or three months 
ago I asked an eminent member of the Liberal party in the House of 
Commons whether he did not think that the Local Veto bill might 
very well be put off for another ten years, and received the emphatic 
answer: " It might very well be put off for another fifty years, and 
then we should probably find that we were not in need of it. " Now 
I am not going to argue the question of repressive or suppressive 
legislation as regards the sale of intoxicating drinks, but I am trying 



"WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 173 

to describe the feelings of the various sections of the English people 
with regard to the Local Veto bill. Everybody knew that the bill 
had not for the present the remotest chance of being passed into law. 
The Irish Nationalists were naturally dissatisfied when they saw that 
Sir William Harcourt had tied the fortunes of his Administration to 
a measure which could not be carried, but the mere discussion of 

I 

which would necessarily push the Home Bule question into the back- 
ground. There thus grew up among many of the Liberals, and 
among most or all of the Nationalists, the disheartening thought that, 
as the vessel is certain to be wrecked, it matters little upon what 
rock she runs. I have never been able to understand why the 
steersman should at the very opening of the voyage have chosen a 
sort of Jaffa port with a ridge of rocks ahead. Let us see what 
was the ridge of rocks in front of that political port of Jaffa. My 
readers who have been to Jaffa will understand my metaphor. 

The State Church of England is still a very strong corporation, 
and its members now make common cause with the State Church in 
Wales, as at one time they did with the State Church in Ireland, — 
that Church which Mr. Gladstone disestablished and disendowed. 
One of the measures taken up by the late Liberal Government was 
a bill for the disestablishment of the State Church in Wales, on the 
reasonable ground that the vast majority of the Welsh people do not 
recognize its teaching or attend its services. Of course the usual cry 
of what professes to be outraged religion was instantly raised in Eng- 
land, and the brewer and the publican soon found that in the work 
of overthrowing the Government they had a stalwart and an indomi- 
table ally in the militant churchman. The cry of " the Church in 
danger" has always been a powerful battle-note in the politics of 
Great Britain since the days of the Duke of Wellington and Sir 
Robert Peel. It was never louder or stronger as a rallying-call than 
during the late struggle. Here, then, we have two tremendous in- 
fluences arrayed against the cause of progressive Liberalism in Eng- 
land. The publican, and what Dean Swift or Sydney Smith would 
have called the parson, were fighting side by side, although not ex- 
actly hand in hand. Very likely the parson in his secret heart 
detested the publican, and I have no reason to believe that the publi- 
can had any particular affection for the parson. But when it came to 
a fight against a Liberal Government, the two could work together in 
unholy and unacknowledged alliance. Thus we have two of the very 
strongest influences in English social life acting in thorough unison 



174 "WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER ?»» 

against the efforts of a reforming Government. The publican would 
have been strong by himself, but joined with the parson he bore down 
all his enemies. The same may be said of the parson. He would 
have had a certain strength as a fighting politician if left to himself, 
although not nearly so much as the publican. All the great efforts 
for reform in Church systems in these countries have been carried 
despite the opposition of the parson. Still he could have made a 
fight and given trouble, if left to his own fighting powers alone. 
But when his political enemies handed over to him the support of the 
publican he must have felt that one triumph at least was to be his. 

I am assured by many of Sir William Harcourt's friends that he was 
positively convinced that the Local Veto bill was the one measure about 
which the English people really cared. I can quite understand his 
anxiety to bring in some measure which should really arouse the enthu- 
siasm of the English people, — I mean personal and local enthusiasm. 
The English Liberals have been nobly loyal to Home Rule and to 
Welsh Disestablishment, but the interest which the English public 
take in such measures is impersonal, is reflected or refracted, and an 
English statesman would naturally feel anxious to give them some- 
thing for themselves. This, no doubt, was the anxiety of Sir Wil- 
liam Harcourt. But how he could ever have persuaded himself that 
a Local Veto bill was a measure to arouse such enthusiasm passes my 
understanding. I had many a talk with leading Liberal politicians, 
during recent days, about this measure and its chances of present suc- 
cess; but I never spoke with any one, except Sir Wilfrid Lawson 
and a few of his supporters, who did not shake their heads over it, 
and express, as their brightest hope, their doubt whether Sir Wil- 
liam Harcourt would really press it after all. 

He did not press it. It did not get a chance of being pressed. 
The snap division came, and the Government made up its mind to 
go out of office at once. But the Local Veto bill had a good deal to 
do with that making up of the Administration's mind. Many a mem- 
ber of the Cabinet doubtless said to himself: " We had better go out 
now than on the Local Veto bill. We are certain to be defeated on 
that measure, and it will make us so unpopular that it will really be 
to our advantage to throw up the sponge at once and get out of the 
whole responsibility. " The trouble was that they could not evade 
the responsibility they had themselves undertaken. The vengeance 
of the liquor trade pursued them, — for had they not introduced the 
Local Veto bill, and had not Sir William Harcourt announced that 



"WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 175 

he was determined to press it? " Pallas ie hoc vulnere, Pallas tm- 
molaL " In this battle, however, there were two Pallases, — Pallas 
publican and Pallas parson. 

In this controversy about the Local Veto bill, the result of which 
was seen in the elections, there were many honorable and high- 
minded men who utterly refused to be bound by their trade interests. 
There were members of the Liberal party who held a place among the 
greatest brewers of the day, and who yet were determined to sup- 
port the Liberal Government because on the whole it was a Govern- 
ment whose policy worked for the general benefit of the state. A 
friend and political colleague of my own, a man at the head of one of the 
largest distilling manufactories of Ireland, declared it to be his sturdy 
intention to vote for the Home Rule Ministry, come what would of the 
Local Veto. All the same the Liberal Government was turned out 
of office mainly because of that Local Veto. The mistake was one 
of perspective and proportion. The general public — the public that 
was not pledged in advance to glorify it or to detest it — had not made 
up its mind on the subject, — could not believe that any such measure 
was really coming on in good earnest. For a great many successive 
years we used to have Sir Wilfrid Lawson's annual measure for the 
establishment of Local Option — the Permissive Bill, it was called. 
It was debated, many good speeches were made about it, and it 
used to get a considerable number of votes. More than one mem- 
ber of the House of Commons has told me in the frankest way 
that he voted for the bill because it could not possibly come to any- 
thing, and he did not like to seem as if he were discouraging the ad- 
vocates of temperance. Once at least since I became a member of 
the House, — I think it was in 1880, — a resolution in favor of Local 
Veto was actually carried by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, by a majority of 
twenty -six. But every one who knows anything about the House of 
Commons knows what a vast difEerence there is between a resolution 
carried by a private member and a measure taken up by a Government. 
The passing of the resolution did not alarm the publican, but it be- 
came a serious business indeed to them when the principle of Local 
Veto was embodied in a measure by a Liberal Government, whose 
leader in the House of Commons announced his determination to 
press it forward as quickly as possible. Then the tug of war seemed 
sure to come. It would have come on that issue but for the snap 
resolution. But the actual fight occurred as if that resolution had 
never been carried. No publican in the kingdom cared a penny 



176 •'WHY. WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 

about the snap resolution. He avenged himself and his interests on 
the Local Veto bill by his vote at the polling-booth. 

Not Home Bule, then, but the Local Veto bill, has been the de- 
feat of the Liberal Gbovernment. But it is hardly necessary to say 
that most of the Tories — and especially the country Tories — detested 
the idea of Home Bule, and were glad to have any opportunity of 
voting against the statesmen who had introduced it and actually carried 
it through the House of Commons. What I mean to say is, that if 
the fortune of war had allowed us to light the elections on the simple 
and straightforward question of Home Bule, the probabilities are that 
the Liberals would have come back to office with a strong majority. 
It must also be remeihbered that among a large proportion of what 
I may call the inactive voters of England there is a strong and ap- 
parently inborn aversion to change of any kind. " Let us have no 
meandering," said the good old lady in "David Copperfield." She 
was opposed to all travelling from one's birthplace for any purpose 
whatever. She would not condescend to argue the question, but set- 
tled the whole matter by the repetition of her precept — " Let us have 
no meandering. " " Let things remain as they are, " is the precept and 
principle of a considerable proportion of eveiy English constituency. 
A stout old Tory squire once turned to me in the House of Commons 
at a time when the Government — a Liberal Government — was bring- 
ing in some perfectly unexceptionable bill for the remedying of a 
merely technical defect in some rather unimportant measure, and said 
in a voice of genuine reproach and pain, " Can they never let anything 
remain as it was, — these Badicals?" He undoubtedly expressed the 
general feeling of a large number of English voters. Many years ago 
Bichard Cobden declared that the English were the Chinese of Eu- 
rope. Every Liberal Government has to reckon with these Euro- 
pean Chinamen. They make excellent sand -bag fortifications for the 
defence of good old abuses. Such men as these would have objected 
to the Local Veto bill without the slightest reference to its merits or 
demerits. They would not have troubled themselves about the pub- 
lican's interest or the publican's demand for compensation for dis- 
turbance. They would simply have said, " This is a new thing, and 
so we don't want it." Again, we must take into account another 
considerable section of Englishmen who, without any particular con- 
cern for the doings of this Government or that, always like a change 
at the end of three or four years. Add to this the palpable, visible 
operation of the law of action and reaction in English political life, 



"WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 177 

and it will be seen that the parson and the publican found many 
ready supporters at the general election who were tied to neither side 
by any feeling of principle or bond of common interest. 

There were elements of dissension between the Liberal Adminis- 
tration and certain sections of the public which I may mention, but 
which do not call for any lengthy description. A cry was raised 
against the Liberals to the effect that they were favoring the intro- 
duction of cheap foreign goods to the injury of the British manufac- 
turer. " Made in Germany" became a slang phrase of the day, and 
a slang phrase is often a barbed arrow at a great electoral crisis. 
Many of the Soman Catholics of Great Britain and Lreland believed 
that they had not had justice in the matter of Catholic education, and 
that they were put on terms of disadvantage as compared with their 
Protestant neighbors. The injustice certainly was and is there, so far 
as I can form any opinion ; and I think that the late Government might 
have remedied it long ago. This made another subject of conten- 
tion, and many Catholics abstained from voting at all, while a certain 
small proportion here and there probably gave their votes for the 
Tories, who had been quietly telling of the wonderful things they 
would do if they were only helped into office. I suppose we must 
also reckon in the unfortunate dispute which was forced upon the ma- 
jority of the Irish Nationalist party, and the utterly absurd and un- 
founded charges which were made against the chairman and the com- 
mittee of the party. I shall not say anything on this subject — seeing 
that I might not be considered a quite impartial authority — except 
that the controversy, coming in the very thick of a general election, 
naturally turned many an English voter against us. The charges 
were caught up and reechoed for that purpose by all the Tory 
papers. No doubt many a well-meaning Englishman, who had 
neither time nor opportunity for going into the nature and validity 
of the accusations, said to his friends, — " Look at those Irish, — quar- 
relling among themselves again! Are they fit for Home Rule?" — 
and then went and voted against the Liberal party. Many another 
Englishman, animated by the same feeling, if he did not actually vote 
against the Liberals, stayed at home upon the polling-day and gave 
no vote at all, and thus let the Tories have it all their own way. 

I must not omit from the list of those who consciously or uncon- 
sciously contributed to the fall of the Government, the members of 
the small section which calls itself the Independent Labor party. 

This very small party is a kind of trades' union, and its principles 
12 



178 "WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 

and policy are to put their claims in advance of all other interests 
and without regard to any other interest. Their creed, so far as I 
can make it out, is a kind of vague and groping Socialism, which, 
however, they propose to work out by purely constitutional means. 
In pursuance of their one idea they ran candidates of their own at the 
late elections in constituencies where it was evident that if any votes 
could be drawn away from the Liberals the Tories must have the 
seat. Therefore they succeeded in getting in many a Tory who 
would otherwise have been certainly left out. The candidates of 
the Independent Labor party had in most instances no hope what- 
ever of success for themselves. But they put themselves in evidence 
and showed what they could do in the way of thwarting the Liberals. 
Not a single member of the Independent Labor party, so far as I 
know, has been elected to the new Parliament, although in the last 
Parliament they had several representatives. Even their leader, the 
eccentric Mr. Keir Hardie, has been rejected this time. The Amer- 
ican reader must always bear in mind that this party does not include 
such men as Mr. Burt, Mr. Broadhurst, and Mr. John Burns, — 
sterling and fearless representatives indeed of the laboring class to 
which they belong, but who are willing to admit that others have 
claims and rights as well as they; who will help a neighbor to-day in 
the hope that they may have his help to-morrow ; and who are willing 
to accept the general principle of one thing at a time until it be fin- 
ished. The Independent Labor party worked very hard at the late 
elections, and if they were anxious to help in throwing out the Lib- 
erals they must feel well satisfied with their share in the accomplish- 
ment of that result. If every small party were to act upon the same 
principle, there could be no legislative reform in England. 

It will be seen that a good many of the stars in their courses 
fought against the Liberal statesmen ; but when the stars thus do 
fight against some mortal they can hardly do it by any organized 
concert among themselves, — their distances from each other being 
rather too considerable to admit of any such plan of action. The 
forces which fought against the late Government were, in their own 
way, rather too remote from each other to make one combined scheme 
of attack possible. The parson did not deliberately combine with 
the publican, nor the publican with the "fair trade" advocate; nor 
the latter with the Roman Catholic who was dissatisfied with the 
manner of dealing with his schools; nor the Catholic with the Inde- 
pendent Labor man. But all the grievances found a common target, 



"WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?" 179 

and the Liberal Government, assailed with arrows from so many parts 
of the one battle-field, sank down defeated and lifeless, and the 
Tories held the ground. 

I have no inclination whatever to dispute the greatness, the com- 
pleteness, of the Liberal defeat. It was, as Mr. Buskin once said on 
a very different subject, not a fall, but a catastrophe. Yet I am not 
particularly cast down by it. For the great reform measures in 
which I am chiefly interested it is a delay and nothing more. The 
Home-Bule cause, for example, will have to wait. But the man who 
thinks that Home Bule and its movement have been put out of the 
way by this Tory triumph must be utterly incapable of understand- 
ing the forces of a national principle. Amid all our diflSculties and 
•dissensions the cause of Home Bule carried off two seats from the 
Tories of Ulster. In that province, supposed to be the stronghold of 
Toryism, we have again a majority of the representation in the ranks 
of Home Bule. Therefore I feel not the slightest fear on that sub- 
ject. I am sorry that the national cause should be delayed in its 
movement, but it will not have to wait long — its time will come. 

Its time might come sooner than most people expect, if there were 
only a Disraeli in the Tory party. How did the cities and boroughs 
of these countries get their household suffrage? They got it because 
Mr. Disraeli saw clearly that the reform must come in time, — that 
nothing could long keep it off ; and he asked himself, and he after- 
ward asked his party, whether it would not be better, since the thing 
could not be avoided, that the Tory party should take it up, make 
the most of it, and live by it. This was immediately after he and 
the Tories had come back into office in consequence of the defeat of 
Mr. Gladstone in 1866 on a measure for the extension of the suffrage. 
Other Tories were simply exulting in the success of the moment ; 
Mr. Disraeli was looking to the future and estimating the mo- 
mentary success exactly at its worth. So in 1867 he introduced a 
rather vague sort of Beform bill ; he allowed the Badicals to hammer 
it into an excellent Household Suffrage bill, and he held office until 
the Irish difficulty — which up to that time he had not much troubled 
himself to consider — proved too strong for him, and he was defeated 
on Mr. Gladstone's resolutions in favor of the disestablishment of the 
Irish State Church. Now, if there were a Disraeli in the present 
Tory Cabinet, he might well ask himself, and ask his party, whether 
there could be any serious chance of staving off for long the settle- 
ment of the Home Bule question, and, if somebody must settle it, 



180 "WHY, WHENCE, AND WHITHER?** 

why not the Tories? But I doubt if there be any man in the present 
Cabinet bold enough and long-headed enough for such a venture. 

The majority of the Cabinet will probably be quite content 
with the daily assurances of the Tory papers that Home Rule is 
dead and buried ; that it does not even call for an epitaph ; that it 
will never be heard of again ; and that all is well. The same may 
be said or counted on for many other great reforms, political and 
social, which the Liberals are pledged to carry out. The Tory Gov- 
ernment will get it into their heads that the overthrow of the Liberal 
Government means an end of all these things, and Lord Salisbury 
and Mr. Balfour will be troubled with them no more. Personally I 
wish they would pluck up courage and give us a taste of genuine old- 
fashioned Tory rule. There would be no abstentions of Liberal 
voters during the elections that came next after a period of that sort 
of administration. Perhaps they will try a little of it in Ireland, but 
they will hardly try it upon England or Scotland. If they should 
try it on Ireland they will, it may be, do us a great deal of good in 
the end, for they will rally us as one man to fight the common 
enemy. For myself, I would much rather risk coercion than risk 
disunion, and the first attempt at coercion will be the end of dis- 
union. Defeat, too, will do the English Liberals good. They, as 
well as we Irish Nationalists, must learn to unite. They — the leaders 
especially — must get to understand more clearly and with a common 
recognition exactly what it is that they want to do, and then stick to 
each task until it is done. I have shown that their recent fall was 
mainly due to what I cannot help calling divided counsels. There 
was a want of grip among them ; and where there is a want of grip 
among the leaders there will be a very general laxity of hold among 
the followers. 

Meanwhile Mr. Chamberlain ought, according to the advice given 
in the famous story told by Herodotus, to sacrifice to the gods his 
dearest personal possession. For he is uplifted to that most danger- 
ous eminence, the height of his ambition. He is a Secretary of 
State in a Tory Cabinet, — among the " English gentlemen," for whose 
society he has yearned so long. He would really do well to read the 
story of Polycrates and take warning. It can be easily done — there 
are many English translations of Herodotus. 

Justin McCarthy. 



THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 

To say that the English language, especially in its literary uses, 
has within the second half of this century experienced a veritable 
renascence, may seem to be making a stiff claim. Yet there is much 
to justify so strong a term and statement, to explain and illustrate 
which is the business of this paper. The original impulse has come 
from the specialists, who have devoted themselves to the study of 
Old English, to the language and literature lying back of the Nor- 
man Conquest. The past thirty years have witnessed a wide popu- 
larizing of the earlier native literary treasures through their efforts ; 
the principal texts have been edited and translated and lectured 
about, and their use in schools and colleges encouraged, so that now 
the graduate from one of our leading and liberally endowed institutions 
may, if he choose, know hia " Beowulf" as his father did his " Horace. " 
These elder classics of the mother tongue have not only been taken 
into the curricula of instruction, but have been put forth for 
broader literary appreciation, with the idea of literary stimulation as 
well as linguistic drill. Then, too, the comparative study of the 
allied literature*— the output of the Germanic group of German, 
Dutch, and Scandinavian peoples, of which English is a kinsman — 
has done its share in shedding light upon our tongue as an organism 
governed by linguistic laws and possessing powers long unsuspected. 

To this cultivation of Old English (at first the province of the few, 
but rapidly becoming the work and pleasure of the many) may be 
added the closer study and appreciation of later literary figures and 
epochs, — Chaucer and the Elizabethans, and Spenser, to say nothing 
of Shakespeare himself, — together with the marked attention, reaching 
almost to the dignity of a cult, directed toward the historical English 
ballad ; and last, but by no means least, the increased sensitiveness 
to the literary quality of the Bible. To anticipate no effect, sooner 
or later, upon native modem literature, from all the exploitation of the 
older fields, — allowed, so many of them, to lie fallow for a long pe- 
riod, — is to overlook cause and effect in the developmental inter- 
relations of speech and letters. Nothing could be further from the 



182 THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 

truth than to suppose this movement to be a matter of mere literary 
fashion : it goes far deeper than that. The return to Old English 
expression (always, of course, within limits of common sense and 
controlled by custom and convenience) is not a temporary fad, but 
will prove a permanent enrichment of the force and splendor of the 
speech. The preference for native words and idioms has grown so 
marked that it can be recognized plainly in some of our most effec- 
tive and powerful writers, while signs of it crop out constantly in 
current literature. One who for the first time turns, for example, 
to the poetry of William Morris, will find it something not only rich, 
but strange, — and for this very reason. 

One of the principal things taught by this restoration of English 
to much of its old-time valiency is the tongue's Germanic structure: 
that primitive ability in word-forms and sentence-construction which 
the German, its historic cousin, has retained in larger measure. The 
student of English, in tracing back its line of development, becomes 
aware that it converges steadily toward this other tongue ; so that 
when the Old English period is reached the investigator is astonished 
to see how close, compared with the present status of the two lan- 
guages, is the affiliation with German, in- words, forms, and idioms. 
So true is this, that the student is told that a first requisite for any 
fruitful pursuance of historic English is the learning of German. 
But the latter, owing to its different history, has kept its native 
powers in relative purity ; while English, subjected to more disturbing 
influences in the Norman Conquest and the classic Benascence, has 
diverged far wider from its normal physiognomy and its original ten- 
dencies. As a result of such divergence, where the German uses a 
native compound like vorwort^ the English turns to the Latin and 
makes pre/ace ; where English domesticates such a repulsive foreign 
importation as massacre^ the Gierman uses blutbad (blood -bath), a 
native formation self-explanatory to the most illiterate of the race: 
and soon with hundreds — even thousands — of other words concerning 
which it is to be said that had our own tongue encountered a happier 
linguistic experience it would, quite as readily as its sister-language, 
have clung to its birthright and privilege in this respect, — word- 
forming from within, and so keeping the speech pure. And even 
to-day much (though not all) of this power can be reclaimed, and 
a realization thereof is bringing it about. Thus, it is not infrequent 
now that a book by a scholar bears the legend " foreword" instead 
of the customary " preface" : here is plainly enough the effort to rein- 



THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 183 

state, by analogy with the German, what might have been very prop- 
erly the distinctive word from the beginning. To those who have 
not looked into the matter such a seeming neologism may appear a 
bit of pedantry, an affectation with no significance ; but it is not so, 
for the great principle of English renascent in accordance with its 
organic spirit lies behind such a case. As these older words 
creep into the diction of the scholar aware of the historical facts we 
have indicated, or are used by the literary worker keenly alive to the 
strength and fitness of these speech heirlooms, we may be sure that 
the tendency is wholesome, and one to gather force in the time to 
come. For it is a return to the simple and the indigenous, an es- 
chewing of the foreign, which has been overlaid like a lacquer upon 
the native material. Of course many of our foreign -derived words 
have become so thoroughly anglicized as to make it impossible, no less 
than unadvisable, to eradicate them. But the method proposed is 
not the rooting up of what is firmly planted in the speech, but a re- 
introduction, a calling back of the germane, thereby ousting slowly, 
unviolently, what is less suitable. It will be, and should be, a case 
of the survival of the fittest. 

The movement once started by the philologists and specialists in 
language has been, it may be repeated, carried on with vigor by 
those who make literature. It is in their efforts that the popular 
rehabilitation of the older and purer elements of English especially 
may be found. And in this welcome influence poetry rather than 
prose will always be dominant. It is of the nature and essence of 
poetical diction to be archaic, to show a large proportion of native 
words: and this because it is the language of the emotions, which al- 
ways chooses the homespun and the familiar terms and forms natal 
in the speech. Words like home^ mother^ father^ love, heart j and hearth 
— the category of the affections — will in all tongues be recognized as 
bom within its body. And this contribution of poetry, the highest 
form of literature, to our linguistic treasure-trove, will be supple- 
mented inevitably by the most imaginative prose-writing, since the 
same law is there at work : the indigenous element strong when the 
feelings are in considerable measure implicated, the imagination 
widest awake. A great service is being rendered by the present 
acceptability of dialect literature : through the attention in fiction to 
the local ^ speech-islands, '^ as philologians dub them, the dialectical 
yariations of the common stock of language are brought into notice, 
and a multitude of words, idioms, and phrases reinstated in the 



184 THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 

parlance, or at least in the cognizance, of the more sophisticated cen- 
tres of speech. And since the linguistic survivals of the country- 
side are more often than not the local persistence of what was once 
the best English for cultivated and literary usage, the result is a 
constant enrichment of the modern word-hoard. The counties or 
colonies of Great Britain, the manifold sections of the United States, 
have in this way yielded up rich treasures to the skilful hands of the 
poets and novelists. Never has the local speech been transcribed 
with a like faithfulness, skill, and attraction. From this cause the 
tongue will in time become an instrument of wider diapason, more 
varied in its harmonies, and vibrant with immemorial racial tones. 
The reader to-day gets a new sense of its possibilities, and is taught 
hospitably to throw open the doors to fresh material representing 
local survivals of the sturdy old speech which, by the good graces of 
literature, then become revivals of our current language. 

With this outline sketch of principles, some illustrations, drawn 
from the various channels of contribution, will make the contention 
plainer and should prove not uninteresting. Let us take a passage 
from Dr. Hall's metrical version of " Beowulf," as an example of the 
sort of English used by a student who essays to present such a monu- 
ment in a modem dress, yet preserves as much as may be its primi« 
tivetang: 

*'Fast the days fleeted ; the float was a- water, 
The craft by the cliff. Clomb to the prow then 
Well-equipped warriors ; the wave-currents twisted 
The sea on the sand ; soldiers then carried 
On the breast of the vessel bright-shining jewels. 
Handsome war-armor ; heroes out-shoved then, 
Warmen the wood-ship, on its wished-for adventure. 
The foamy-necked floater, fanned by the breeze, 
Likest a bird, glided the waters. " 

To bring such language into popular consideration is educative and may 
be counted upon for its influence ; the archaic words or forms can readily 
be picked out: found in the vernacular, they are allowed to remain in 
the translation : and it is the test of the happy translator how close he 
clings to the original without growing obscure or offensively odd. 

Dr. Fumival, the doughty president of the English Shakespeare 
Society, is a scholar whose studies might be expected to affect his 
diction, as indeed they have. In his introduction to an edition of 
William Harrison's "A Description of England,'' this wielder of 



THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 185 

forthright English speaks of an '^ unthrift young gentleman, " and his 
description of Harrison as a personality reads thus : 

''A businesB-like, Qod-fearing, truth-seeking, learned, kind-hearted, and 
humorous fellow, he seems to me ; a good gardener ; an antiquarian and numis- 
matist ; a true lover of his country ; a hater of shams, lazy lubbers, and evil-doers ; 
a man that one likes to shake hands with, across the rift of two hundred years 
that separates us. " 

The effect of this upon the reader is of a style plain, familiar, and 
racy; but, the more it is studied in exiensoj the clearer is it seen that 
its quality is due to a bias for the older words and constructions, — a 
characteristio of Dr. Fumival's manner of writing in general. 

Among modem historians none is so remarkable for the Saxon 
simplicity of his style as Freeman : he carries his preference for the 
vernacular so far that at times he will repeat the same native word 
again and again within a few lines rather than use its classic or ro- 
mance equivalent, — with an effect of baldness and sameness in his 
diction. It is not surprising that this great historian's burrowing in 
the past of England and English should have left its mark on his 
prose : the following passage, from the first lecture in " The English 
People in Its Three Homes," brings the fact home: 

** Here on your soil I am not indeed in mine own home, but I am none the 
lees among mine own folk. I am among men of mine own blood and mine own 
tongue, sharers in all that a man of either England deems it his pride and hap- 
piness to share in. How can we be strangers and foreigners to one another, 
how can we be other than kinsfolk and brethren of the same hearth, when we 
think that your forefathers and mine may have sailed together from the oldest 
England of all in the keels of Hengest or of Gerdic — that they may have lurked 
together with j^tred in the marshes of Atlielney — that they may have stood 
side by side in the thick shield- wall on the hill of Senlao — that they may have 
marched together as brethren to live and die for EInglish freedom alike on the 
field of overthrow at Evesham and on the field of victory at Naseby?" 

Here, again, I am aware, the general physiognomy of style is that of 
a homely, strong simplicity, having, however, an eloquence all its 
own : here, it might be said, is no revamping of the tongue, but only 
a straightforward manipulation of English unadorned. Yet such a 
style is an exceedingly rare phenomenon ; it may be stated boldly that 
an example of it thirty years ago cannot be found in English. Only 
from one who had drunk deep draughts from the purest sources of 
our speech could such felicitous handling of its Germanic powers 
have come. Mr. Freeman, in the book quoted from, bears down on 
•ur dose relationship to the Germans and Dutch, respectively second 



186 THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 

and first cousins. Speaking of the ^' tie" which binds the English of 
the British isles to that ancient England of the continent whence thej 
came, he acknowledges that it may not be at first evident, and " does 
not force itself upon the mind by the most obvious witness of lan- 
guage, of history, of all that makes divided brethren to be brethren 
still. But the tie is still real: it is still living." He is thinking 
here of other things than language, but his words apply thereto in 
full force. 

Other modem historians, whose style is strong on the native side, 
— men like Green and Froude and Harrison, — furnish examples, 
though not in so striking a degree as Freeman, of the influence upon 
personal diction of delvings in the bygone life and language. A 
glance at some modem poets may be taken, to strengthen the impres- 
sion ; and no man may fitlier head the list than William Morris, 
whose verse, as already hinted, is notable in this matter of good old 
English. I draw on his great story -cycle, "The Earthly Paradise," 
a stanza from " The Man Born to Be King:" 

"^So long he rode he drew anigh 
A mill upon the river's brim, 
That seemed a goodly place to him, 
For o'er the oily smooth millhead 
There hung the apples growing red, 
And many an ancient apple-tree 
Within the orchard could he see, 
While the smooth millwalls white and black 
Shook to the great wheel's measured clack 
And grumble of the gear within ; 
While o'er the roof that dulled that din 
The doves sat crooning half the day. 
And round the half-cut stack of hay 
The sparrows fluttered twittering. " 

We have chosen this earlier unobtrusive example of a happy use 
of the native English elements in verse rather than one from the later, 
more pronouncedly archaic, and to some artificially Germanic, work of 
Morris, though this richly illustrates the principle. This natural 
trouvire may be called a pioneer of the linguistic renascence when 
it is remembered that the chief poem-group of his life dates from 
1868-70. And with him may properly be set Swinburne: he too 
exhibits in his verse, in his diction and metres as well, the strong 
influence upon him of the root-flavors of speech : though in his caM 
a softer, more voluptuous effect is gained by the intermingling of 
classic elements. Take these stanzas of his magnificent psean, " The 



THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 187 

Armada/' and see how well-nigh every word of it is home-born 
and monosyllabic, — a fact making its rhythmic flow all the more 
wonderful and its force the more potent : 

"Greed and fraud, unabashed, una wed, may strive to sting thee at heel in vain : 
Craft and fear and mistrust may leer and mourn and murmur and plead and 

plain : 
Thou art thou : and thy sunbright brow is hers that blasted the strength of Spain. 

Mother, mother beloved, none other could claim in place of thee England's 

place : 
Earth bears none that beholds the sun so pure of record, so clothed with grace : 
Dear our mother, nor son nor brother is thine as strong or as fair of face. 

How shalt thou be abased? or how shall fear take hold of thy heart? of thine, 
England, maiden immortal, laden with charge of life and with hopes divine? 
Earth shall wither, when eyes turned hither behold not light in her darkness 
shine. 

England, none that is bom thy son, and lives, by grace of thy glory, free, 
Lives and yearns not at heart aud bums with hope to serve as he worships thee ; 
None may sing thee : the sea- wind's wing beats down our songs as it hails the 
sea." 

Mr. Stedman speaks of Morris as showing how well " our Saxon 
English is adapted for the transmission of the Homeric spirit:" a fair 
characterization also of much of Swinburne^s lyric and dramatic 
writing. 

Compared with these men in their typical manner, the poetry of 
the great earlier men — Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Shelley — 
shows a startling difference in regard to the relative prominence of 
native English words and formations. They had not the advantage of 
the popularization of younger literature which has since transpired. 
And the latter-day bards, the generation subsequent to the Morris- 
Swinburne time, reveal this influence more and more, just in pro- 
portion as they are virile and awake to larger possibilities for melody 
and harmony now open to English. 

Of American singers Sidney Lanier is unique in his sensitiveness 
to Old English language and literature, coloring all his work and giv- 
ing it a distinctive stamp. The fine couplet — 

" By so many roots as the marsh-grass sends in the sod, 
I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of Qod. ** 

^-is representative of his style ; and this stanza of the " Ballad of Trees 
and the Master'^ stands, in its Saxon directness, for much more: 



188 THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 

** Into the woods my Master went, 
Clean forspent, forspent. 
Into the woods my Master came, 
Forspent with love and shame. 
But the olives they were not blind to Him, 
The little gray leaves were kind to Him ; 
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him 
When into the woods He came." 

Stevenson too, and Kipling, "whether as poets or prosers, are of 
this goodly company; the very title of the former's " Underwoods" 
is eloquent of these older speech memories, while in that lyric re- 
pository is the perfect " Requiem, " with its now renewed pathos, 
each several word of which is English unadulterated, with the one 
exception of the word verse: 

Requiem. 

Under the wide and starry sky, 
Dig the grave and let me lie. 
Glad did I live and gladly die, 
And I laid me down with a will. 

This be the verse you grave for me : 
Here he lies where he longed to be ; 
Home is the sailor, Iiomefrom sea. 
And the hunter home from the hUl, 

Kipling also, among those enchanting provocative interludes of 
rhyme which are to be found in his prose books, has this bit which 
clings to the native side of the mother tongue in a fashion typical of 
this virile young maker of measures and spinner of yarns : 

"Oh, was I bom of womankind, and did I play alone? 
For I have dreamed of playmates twain that bit me to the bone. 
And did I break the barley bread and steep it in the tyre? 
For I have dreamed of a youngling kid new riven from the byre. 
An hour it lacks and an hour it lacks to the rising of the moon ; 
But I can see the black roof-beams as plain as it were noon. " 

Nor is this bent for pure English confined to the " chiels" of the 
rising generation : it is symptomatic, and the open-eyed reader meets 
with it on all sides. In a poem by Qraham B. Tomson occurs the line — 

"And all her talk was of some outland rare" 

— a direct parallelism with the German ausland. In Bliss Carman's 
fine Stevenson Threnody, " A Sea-mark," there are half-a-dozen signs 
of this desire or instinct — which comes to the same thing — for resus- 



THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 18t 

citatiDg latent powers to the freshening and beautifying of latter-daj 
vocabulary and construction. Thus: 

** But I have toander-biddings now." 

** You brethren of the light-heart guild, 
The mystic feUowcraft of joy.** 

** A valiant earthling stark and dumb. " 

*^ The journey -wonder on his face." 

** Heart- high, outbound for otherwhere, " 

— ^the italics indicating phrasing which shows this promising Ameri- 
can yerseman to have learned the time's lesson in linguistics. 

And prose literature, notably fiction, adds richly to the evidential 
material, dialect (as explained) being a main source of contribution. 
Again Stevenson and Kipling are in the van. In " Dr. Jekyl and 
Mr. Hyde," the story which first drew popular attention to one who 
had long before revealed to the judicious an artist's hand, may be 
found half-a-dozen places which illustrate the tendency to fall back 
upon the ancient privileges of a tongue of which he was past-master: 
as where " a sharp intake of the breath " is spoken of. Some of the 
matchless descriptive writing in " The Ebb-Tide " affords occasion 
for more or less in the same sort, as here : 

"There was little or no morning bank. A brightening came in the east: 
then a wash of some ineffable, faint, nameless hue between crimson and silver : 
and then coals of fire. These glimmered awhile on the sea-line and seemed to 
brighten and darken and spread out ; and still the night and the stars reigned 
undisturbed. It was as though a spark should catch and glow and creep along 
the foot of some heavy and almost incombustible wall-hanging, and the room 
itself be scarce menaced. Yet a little after, and the whole east glowed with gold 
and scarlet, and the hollow of heaven was filled toith the daylight, " 

Here there is the magic blending of native and imported elements 
to make a truly admirable style; but ever and anon (as in the itali- 
cized closing words) Stevenson places before the ravished observer a 
compound or turn of expression or sentence which has a relish of 
old time and the sanction of bygone generations. 

Kipling, too, is cunning in the same fashion, allowing, of course, 
for the personal equation. Take the following from " A Matter of 
Fact, " one of his most grewsomely imaginative tales : 

** As he spoke the fog was blown into shreds, and we saw the sea, gray with 
mud, rolling on every side of us and empty of all life. Then in one spot it bub- 
bled and became like the pot of ointment that the Bible speaks of. From that 



190 THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 

wide-ringed trouble a Thin^ came np — ^a gray and red Thing witb vt /it^iO^,, 
Thing that bellowed and writhed in pain.** 

The illustrations from current fiction-makers ^wlio have turned 
dialect to literary uses is legion, and an embarrassment of riches the 
result: examples are hardly necessary, so obvious is this aspect of 
the movement. In Raymond's delightful Somersetshire idyl, " Try- 
phena in Love, " we find, " And to-year she was meeting with wonder- 
ful good luck," — the remark being the author's own, not a part of the 
dialogue. To-year survives in dialectical service (like countless other 
words) and is common enough in the Elizabethan dramatists and fur- 
ther back: it may be seen that, by analogy with to- day and to-mor- 
row^ it is a capital formation, a regrettable loss to modem English. 
Mr. Raymond, in the preface to his volume of short stories, " Love 
and Quiet Life," speaks of this locution, and adds: "And what is 
the distinguishing initial vowel of the past-participle of the rustic, 
but a heritage from our Saxon [he means Old English] ancestors, " 
— going on to point out the resemblance between the countryman's 
prefix, a, as in a-wantj and the German ge in gewandt. Ever and 
again the German comparison forces itself on the student. In Justin 
H. McCarthy's pleasing novel, " A Woman of Impulse" (which may 
be read as the antidote to " Dodo"), I find him speaking of "a ballad 
with the overword," — also a strictly Germanic compound. 

It is hardly necessary to illustrate from the Scotch word -work of 
Barrie, Crockett, and their commensals, since, of all the dialect 
loosely grouped under the convenient name " Scotch," it may be de- 
clared that it is strongly conservative northern English : that is a fair 
description, historically, of the variations in English to the north of 
the Firth. Scotch proper, it may be added, is Celtic, — quite another 
thing. But the more conventional speech of these two writers, as 
well as of others like Quiller Couch and Hardy and Blackmore, fur- 
nishes food for our thesis. Here, for example, are the very opening 
sentences of Barrie's " A Window in Thrums" : 

** On the blimp of green round which the brae twists, at the top of the brae 
and within cry of T'nowhead Farm, still stands a one-story house, whose white- 
washed walls, streaked with the discoloration that rain leaves, look yellow 
when the snow comes. In the old days the stiff ascent left Thrums behind, and 
where is now the making of a suburb was only a poor row of dwellings and a 
manse, with Hendry *s cot to watch the brae." 

Quiet, unforced English, this; but when you come to compare it with 
that of an immediate earlier generation, it is not hard to notice the 



THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 191 

change. Or read this from Nora Hopper's straogely poetic " Ballads 
in Prose, " where the influence is Celtic of the Irish order, and the 
stylistic model Malory's " Morte d' Arthur" : 

** And when next Cuchullin woke from his dreams he found that Ineen still 
held him fast, though she was dead and cold : and with some difficulty he loosed 
her hands from him, and dug with his sword a grave for her in the sand, and 
there he laid her sorrowfully, praying Angus, the Master of Love, to keep her 
soul in his Gk>lden House, and Manannan MacLir to hold his waves aloof from her 
sleeping-place. And when he visited the place with Eimer after a year and a day, 
they found that the sea had fallen back for half a league, and that the place where 
the sea-girl slept was a broad space of grass, and in the midst of the grass rose white 
spikes of meadow-sweet, the flower which for the sake of a forgotten love and a 
forgotten sacrifice is called of us to-day Crios Chucbulainn (Cuchullin 's Belt)." 

That in the movement here-above sketched certain influences have 
been long at work, has been conceded frankly, and those influences 
named. Nevertheless, that a strong added impulsion has come from 
the popularization of Old. English language and literature, signs of 
which are easy to be seen, is a plain matter to the student and lover 
of his native speech. Sometimes it shows in the literary regenera- 
tion of a word which for centuries has lain perdu; sometimes through 
the introduction of an idiom out of strict analogy with the German ; 
again, by the elevation of dialect to a more urbane place in the 
tongue; most often by a widespread tendency toward monosyllabic 
Anglo-Saxon. But, whatever the manifestations, all hark back to 
a common cause, stand for one phenomenon; and it may be affirmed 
of the younger writers, whether using the grand old mother-tongue 
in America, in England, or in any one of the great colonies where she 
is at home, those we are coming to look upon as torch-bearers are the 
best exemplars of this hopeful characteristic, it being, in sooth, one 
reason of their strength and place in the forefront. A point to be 
borne down upon is the difference between this movement and sundry 
fashions in the language of literature and life which have their little 
day from time to time in various countries. Such was the Eliza- 
bethan Euphuism, the Spanish Gongorism, the Marianism of Italy, 
the Schwtdstigkeit of the Germans, the Parisian preciosity ridiculed 
by Molidre. A common hall-mark of all these is affectation; they 
have a narrow aloofness, are superficial and temporary, averse from 
what is genuinely natural and national, whereas the return to the 
older in English is — allowing for the occasional posing and strained 
effects of those whose province it is to bring discredit on any ten- 
dency good in itself — a going back to what is simple, strong, direct, 
and vital to our speech instincts. 



192 THE RENASCENCE IN ENGLISH. 

This renascence of English, then, silent but steady, for the most 
part unsensational, but none the less potent, is to be apperceived to- 
day, and in the twentieth century will be more apparent. And the 
very fact that our leading writers wish thus to turn back to native 
uses and things is, so far as it goes, proof of the race's health, of its 
solidarity and esprit de corps. We may take comfort in it when con- 
fronting an alarmist like Nordau : for a general degeneration of the 
speech would follow any general degeneration of literature ; and the 
testimony of language, just now, directs us to opposite and more 
cheerful conclusions. 

BiCHARD Burton. 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

Many people regard tbe roulette-table merely as a means of frivol- 
ous and iniquitous dissipation ; and any one who is capable of the 
moral condescension of studying it, which he can best do by playing 
a system at Monte Carlo, will probably lose his money if he plays for 
any length of time ; but he will find in the table a most vivid illus- 
tration of a truth which is connected with chance and gambling in 
only an accidental way. 

Except for the zero, which we need not consider here, the player 
who stakes on any of the simple chances, — the red or black, the odds 
or evens, the passe or manque, — has a chance at any one coup which 
equals that of the table ; and what he wins, if he wins, is the precise 
sum which he has staked. If, however, he loses, he can double; 
and if he wins the second time, the sum which he wins is the sum 
which he staked the first time. Thus, if a man sits down to play 
two coups, his chances of winning tbe amount of his first stake are 
double his chance of losing it : and this doubling process, at Monte 
Carlo, where the limit is six thousand francs, he can continue, if 
he starts with a single five-franc piece, for eleven coups. He may 
lose ten times in succession; but if he wins the eleventh, he gains a 
five-franc piece — namely the sum of his original stake. A man who 
sits down to play in this way has eleven chances of winning bis 
original stake, as against the table's one chance. 

It may seem, therefore, and it has seemed to countless persons, 
that a player who plays thus quite alters the original situation, and 
has successfully circumvented the persons who designed the game. 
Such theorists, however, overlook what is really the essence of the 
situation. The player who, beginning with five francs, has lost ten 
times in succession, may yet recover his losses, and win five francs 
by his eleventh stake ; but this eleventh stake will be more than five 
thousand francs. He risks five thousand, and has already risked all 
bis former stakes, for the sake of winning five francs. In fact, to 
gain, by tbe doubling system, an advantage of eleven to one against 
the table, the player must be prepared to risk sometbing like ten 
IS 



194 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

thousand francs for the chance of gaining five francs. In other 
words, a plajer for a certain number of coups can always alter in 
his own favor the evenness of the original chance ; but he can secure 
this advantage in one way only — namely by paying for it. If he wishes 
to have eleven chances of winning five francs as against one of 
losing them, the lowest price at which he could possibly buy this 
privilege would be to allow the tables one chance in twelve of win- 
ning fifty-five francs. Thus, let the player merely play eleven 
times, and the original equality between the chances of gain and 
loss is restored. That is to say, in spite of all systems, the game 
remains, what it obviously is for any single coup — a game of hazard. 

I have called attention to the roulette-table because it constitutes, 
in the respect just mentioned, a most vivid analogy to a fact in hu- 
man life which social reformers either never realize or else constantly 
forget, just as the inventors of this or that infallible system forget, 
or have never realized, the corresponding fact at Monte Carlo. That 
fact is as follows: The fundamental difficulties, the fundamental im- 
perfections of social life, are due to human nature, and inherent in 
human nature, just as in the game of roulette there inheres the 
character of hazard; and the difEerent social systems which have 
been designed by Utopian reformers would — supposing such systems 
to be put in practice — change the form of these difficulties and im- 
perfections and disguise them; but their essence would remain, and 
the reformers would still be confronted by them, and confronted by 
them in an aggravated and far more unmanageable shape. 

Of this great truth there is no more important and no clearer 
example than one supplied by a case in which the socialistic 
dreamer foolishly imagines himself to have discovered a trium- 
phant contradiction of it. This is the case of supply and demand, 
and the effect which the relation between these two factors neces- 
sarily has on values, on prices, and on wages, — or, in other words, 
on the subsistence of the manual laborer. Socialists imagine that 
were all private capital appropriated by the state, and all the pro- 
ducts of Ability confiscated, — either to supplement the wages of 
Labor, or to be used for some public purpose, — ^the laws of supply 
and demand would suddenly cease to operate; and that the wages of 
the men who produced any one kind of article could be adjusted so 
as to meet what might be considered their reasonable needs, without 
any reference to the men who produced the other kinds of articles 
required by the community as a whole, and without any chance 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 195 

being inyolved of injuring these last, and of rousing their hostility. 
Thus, when Socialists are pressed with arguments which relate to de- 
mand prices, and when it is argued that the maximum limit of 
wages for the producers of any given article is fixed, not by how 
much the men want who produce it, but by how much the article 
itself is wanted by the men who, it is assumed, will purchase it, — 
the Socialists, when these arguments are pressed on them, invariably 
take refuge in saying of them that, if they are true at all, they are 
true only of society under the existing system ; that they are true 
only — here is one of their favorite phrases — under the " regime of 
cut-throat competition"; or, in a phrase more frequent still, that 
" there is all the difference in the world between the production of 
articles for use and consumption, as they would be produced under 
Socialism, and the production of articles as commodities or for the 
purpose of exchange, as they are produced now." 

Idler and more foolish language than«this was never used. I pro- 
pose to show that, in a socialistic society, — supposing such to be 
possible, — a society in which the socialistic principles were developed 
to the very uttermost, the law of supply and demand would 
make itself felt, not with less force than at pi*esent, but with a great 
deal more; and that were every private capitalist and private em- 
ployer abolished, all those difficulties and all those conflicts of 
interest which now manifest themselves in agitations, in lock-outs 
and in strikes, would manifest themselves afresh in different and 
yet more destructive forms. The personal disappearance of the pri- 
vate capitalist and employer would merely leave more apparent the 
enduring and inexpugnable nature of the facts and forces represented 
by him. 

Let us begin by examining the socialistic fallacy in that bald 
and crude form to which I have just referred. Stated categori- 
cally, this fallacy, so often repeated, is as follows: — that the com- 
munity under the regime of Socialism — as the word is now gen- 
erally understood — would no longer produce for exchange in the way in 
which it does now; or, to put the matter in other words, it would pro- 
duce for consumption in some way radically different from the way in 
which it now j^roduces. I propose first to point out to the reader 
that this statement is so absolutely and transparently false, that it 
could hardly have imposed on any human being, if it were not that 
it were used to mark two other propositions, equally false, but at 
first sight more plausible, which propositions I shall proceed then to 



196 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

examine. But, before even mentioiiiDg these, let us get the original 
fallacy quite out of our way. Let us make ourselves quite clear 
that whatever Socialism might do or might not do, it would do noth- 
ing to alter the rationale of production in this respect; but would 
leave the producers producing for exchange, just as they are doing 
at the present moment, and producing for consumption in no other 
sense than the very real sense in which at the present moment they 
are producing and necessarily must produce. 

In order to understand clearly these two limits of production, let 
us begin by considering production in its rudest and simplest stages. 

An isolated individual, such as Bobinson Crusoe, or an isolated 
family living in a very remote district, may no doubt afford us 
examples of what the Socialists talk about, — namely, genuine produc- 
tion for consumption, as opposed to production for exchange. The 
isolated individual will practise every craft for himself. He will be 
his own husbandman, his own potter, his own clothier, and his own 
mason. The isolated family will do the same things between them. 
Each individual will practise several crafts, the result of which will 
be enjoyed round a single hearth. But the result in each case will 
be rude and simple in the extreme. This is by no means the state 
of things which the socialistic reformers contemplate. They do not 
propose to lose any one of the advantages which communities as a 
whole have gained by modern industrial progress. They only pro- 
pose to alter the existing system of production so as to redistribute 
its results, not to alter its methods; and there is not a single scien- 
tific Socialist who does not understand, as fully as Adam Smith did, 
that of all civilization, of all industrial progress, the great under- 
lying condition is a minute division of labor. Now, if division of 
labor means anything, it means, before all things, this : that, of the 
products needed by the very poorest man in the community, of the 
very necessaries of life which he cannot live without consuming, he 
shall himself make only a very small part, — perhaps no part at all; 
but shall make instead something which shall be exchanged for what 
he consumes. Take, for instance, the case of a sorter at the post- 
office. He may accidentally sort one letter of his own out of a mil- 
lion; but if he does so this is a mere unimportant accident. His 
wages do not come to him in the form of any service he thus renders 
to himself, as they would were he a savage building his own hovel. 
Or, again, take one of the girls who roll cigarettes in the state tobacco- 
factories in France. She very probably does not smoke at all ; and 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 197 

at all events no appreciable part of her livelihood comes to her in the 
form of cigarettes T^hich she herself rolls. And these two examples 
are all the more to the point, in that they are taken from industries 
which are always pointed to by the Socialists as examples and in- 
stalments of Socialism. 

The statement, then, of the Socialists that production under Social- 
ism will be production for exchange any less than it is now, is, if 
we take it as it stands, merely an ignorant or dishonest formula, 
which will not stand a single moment's examination. We shall 
find, however, that under the surface this statement covers two 
meanings, which, though really equally false, and, moreover, mutu- 
ally exclusive, are not, when taken separately, by any means so pal- 
pably absurd. Indeed, before they are closely analyzed, they can both 
be expressed in one general proposition : namely the proposition, not 
that under Socialism production would not be production for exchange ; 
but that the proportion in which each class of products exchanged 
for others — or, in other words, the remuneration of each producer — 
would somehow or other be regulated on different principles. This 
proposition, however, when we come to analyze it closely, will be 
found to mean one or the other, and sometimes both, .of the follow- 
ing contradictory things. It will be found to mean either (a) that, 
as regards the individual producer, the true exchxinge-value of his pro- 
ducts unU be estimated according to a new and truer standard; so that 
each man, whatever commodities he produces, will receive a full 
equivalent for them ; or else (b) it may mean that what he receives 
unU have no necessary connection with the amount of these commodities at 
all, but will be apportioned to him, as the Socialists put it, " not 
according to his deeds, but according to his needs. " * 

The essential difference and antagonism between these two ideas 

or theories can be illustrated very simply. Let us take the case of 

two men, neither of whom smokes, but whose occupation is to roll 

cigars: and we will suppose that one man, who is very energetic, 

rolls a thousand cigars a day ; the other, who is more indolent, six 

hundred. It is obvious that these men do not roll them for their 

own consumption. Directly or indirectly they will somehow be 

exchanged for something. The only question is, for how much shall 

' This idea has been expressed more fully in the formula, " every man is to 
work according to his cai>acity and be remunerated according to his require- 
ments" : and in Ehigland of late the public has become very familiar with it, 
through the doctrine of "the living wage, ** preached during the great coal- 
strike. 



198 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

m 

they be exchanged. According to the first theory (a) the amount 
which each man receives will depend upon the number of the cigars 
that he rolls; according to the second theory (i) it will depend on the 
amount of food, clothing, and accommodation requisite to keep him 
in some preconceived state of comfort. We will consider these two 
theories in order. 

The first theory — namely, that according to which the position of 
the laborer will be bettered by Socialism, because Socialism will 
secure for him the true exchange-value of what he produces — is 
the theory of Karl Marx; and, according to many Socialists, it con- 
tains the very idee mire of Socialism. Now this theory coincides up 
to a certain point with the doctrines of the ordinary economists, and 
assumes a certain part of the economic process of the present as 
something which is permanent and would endure under any system. 
Indeed, what Karl Marx considered to be his great discovery par- 
ports to be simply an analysis of something that is happening round 
us every day and always will happen. This can be explained simply 
thus. Let us take any kind of finished product and consider the 
price which the consumer pays for it. This price, according to 
Marx, naturally and necessarily represents its true value. Let us 
suppose, for instance, all the bread in a community to be made and 
sold by some single corporation of persons; all the coats made and 
sold by another; and all the coal produced and sold by a third. 
Each of those three products being necessary to life, each corporation 
would of necessity retain as much of its own product as was neces- 
sary for its own consumption. The question of the value, or ex- 
change-value, of each product, affects only the portions of it that are 
exchanged, not consumed, by the producers. How many loaves 
shall the corporation of coat-makers receive for each coat supplied 
by them to the corporation of bread-makers? How many hundred- 
weight of coal shall the corporation of bread -makers receive for each 
hundred loaves they supply to the providers of coal? According to 
Marx these questions are answered by the actual facts of life. If we 
regard the producers of commodities, not as individuals, but as cor- 
porations, which both produce them and supply them to the con- 
sumer, commodities do, on the whole, exchange at their true value; 
and this value is, according to him, determined by the amount of 
average labor, measured by time, which is required on the average 
to produce each commodity. Some men, no doubt, may be excep- 
tionally apt and diligent, others exceptionally idle : but in spite of 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 199 

this there is an average standard of efficiency which makes an hour 
of the labor of any one man in any industry practically equal to an 
hour of the labor of any other man : and thus every coat out of a 
thousand similar coats will be practically the em1)odiment of an 
equal number of labor-hours ; and the same will hold good of each 
loaf and each hundredweight of coal also. Hence each of these 
three commodities can be expressed in terms of a common denomina- 
tor, namely, the labor-hour; and, according to Marx, commodities 
will, must, and actually do exchange in proportion to the number 
of labor-hours embodied in them. If the various kinds of labor 
that go to make a coat, and place it in the hands of the wearer, 
amount to eighty hours, the coat-makers, as a corporation, will, 
must, and actually do receive as many loaves as are produced and 
brought to the consumer by eighty hours of ploughing, sowing, 
reaping, baking, transport, and so forth. 

It may seem that, thus far, the theory of this terrible revolution- 
ist is a justification of the existing system rather than an attack 
upon it. It assumes, however, a very different character when we 
consider the producers no longer as corporations, but as individuals. 
In each corporation, according to Marx, there exists, under the pres- 
ent system, a minority of individuals who practically rob the others. 
These men are the employers and the capitalists; and, according to 
Marx, the essence of their position is this: they are the monopolists 
of the means of production — raw materials, workshops, machinery, 
and so forth; and the others — the great majority — are unable to 
exercise their labor, or produce anything at all, except with the per- 
mission of this small possessing minority, which accordingly sells 
its permission at the highest price possible, — that is to say, by exact- 
ing from the majority all the values produced by them except such 
as are sufficient to exchange for the barest necessaries of subsistence. 
Suppose, for instance, the coats produced in a given time by a thou- 
sand men (including all who contribute to the result, from the sheep- 
shearer to the retail shop-keeper) to cost the consumer a thousand 
pounds in the aggregate, this thousand pounds would be the true 
value of the coats; and if all the producers worked the same number 
of hours, the amount due to each man would be properly one pound. 
Let us then suppose the labor-time contributed by each man to 
be two days, of eight labor-hours each, the amount properly due to 
each man would be ten shillings a day. But the arts of production 
being in their present advanced condition, while the absolute neces- 



200 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

saries for keeping a man alive remain unchanged, each man produces 
more than three times the amount of these necessaries. He can be 
kept alive on three shillings, while he actually produces ten. Such 
being the case, the monopolists of the means of production are able 
to take — and do take — from each m^n the entire surplus over and 
above this three shillings. That is to say, out of each ten shillings 
they mulct or rob the producer of seven shillings as the price of 
allowing him to produce anything at all. The aim of Socialism, 
therefore, so far as the remuneration of labor is concerned, is essen- 
tially, according to Marx, neither more nor less than this: to expro- 
priate the monopolists, to place the means of production practically 
in the hands of the producers, and thus to enable each of them to 
receive the entire value of his products, which, if we adhere to the 
foregoing suppositions, will be ten shillings instead of three. 

Now with regard to the theory of Marx, taken as a whole, what I 
desire to show is that it contains virtually the three following dis- 
tinct propositions, of which two are perfectly true, and of which one 
is false, (a) If we take Marx's theory that labor-time is the measure 
of value, and qualify it with certain arbitrary suppositions, or apply 
it to societies in their earliest, their crudest, and least civilized 
stages, we get a proposition that is undoubtedly true. (6) If we apply 
the same theory to society as it exists now, we get a proposition that 
is not only false, but false to a grotesque degree, (c) If, turning from 
that part of Marx's theory which relates to the measure of value, to 
the part which asserts that the remuneration of each producer is 
determined by the value (however measured) of his products, and 
that the amount of this value must always be measured, and is mea- 
sured at the present moment, by certain laws (whatever these laws 
may be) which inhere in the structure of all society, then, and so 
far, the theory of Marx is true. 

Let us take these three points, (a), (6), and (c) in the order in 
which they have just been given. 

(a) Let us suppose a community of three men, all equally strong 
and working an equal number of hours, each of whom produces some 
one of three necessary commodities, such as bread, clothes, and fuel, 
and just manages to produce enough of each to satisfy the require- 
ments of three men. It is evident that, as all the men work equally 
hard, each will demand the produce of a third of the labor-hours of 
the two others. Goods will perforce exchange exactly as Marx says 
they do. They will exchange in proportion to the number of labor- 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 201 

hours embodied in them. And what is true of a community of 
three such men as we imagined may be approximately true of any 
very rude societies whose requirements are limited to necessaries, 
and whose methods of production are very simple. 

(b) But in what we call advanced or progressive societies, and 
emphatically in society as we know it now and as Marx criticised it, 
— a society in which the natural powers of labor are indefinitely and 
progressively increased by machinery and industrial organization, — 
the case is absolutely different, and for two distinct reasons. One 
reason is that in this increased production of commodities there is no 
longer involved one kind of exertion only, — namely, what Marx 
means by average labor, — but labor of various qualities and of vari- 
ous degrees of importance; and, more important still than these, 
those kinds of exertion by which labor is directed, whether they be 
those of the inventor or those of the industrial manager. The other 
reason is that as man's powers of production increase, they are used 
not mainly to multiply those few and simple commodities which are 
needed by all alike, and without which life is impossible; but rather 
to multiply the kinds of commodities produced, — not to multiply, 
for example, beyond a certain point, the number of loaves and 
boots and cheeses, but to supplement those necessaries by an indefi- 
nite number of superfluities, such as neckties, gloves, lace curtains, 
china ornaments, carpets, musical instruments, tobacco, books. 

We will consider these two reasons separately. 

The first criticism that will suggest itself to any ordinary student 
of Marx's theory of value as applied to existing circumstances is, 
that by making value a mere matter of average labor-hours, he 
entirely ignores the most obvious function of machinery and invention, 
to say nothing of industrial management. The answer which Marx 
and his school make to this obvious objection, though not wanting 
in ingenuity, will enable us to see at once the flaw in their whole 
position, and the curious nature of the mistake by which they have 
deceived and bewildered themselves. They maintain that machin- 
ery and invention (and indeed by parity of reasoning every rare 
talent that increases the volume of production) though they multiply 
the number of commodities (or as they call them "values in use"), 
have no effect whatever on the exchange-values produced in the same 
number of labor-hours. Mr. Hyndman, one of Marx's most vocif- 
erous disciples in England, has explained this doctrine for the 
benefit of the English working classes by the following simple illus- 



202 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

tration. He takes two common commodities, such as a pair of boots 
and a box, — both, as he says, useful things, and satisfying some social 
need, — and assumes that the one takes longer to make than the others. 
While one man, we will say, makes one pair of boots, another man, 
or either of the men, is able to make two boxes. Accordingly the 
value of two boxes is one pair of boots. Suppose, however, that 
box-making becomes so much easier that a man can make four boxes 
instead of two in the same space of time, he will have to give 
four boxes instead of two for one pair of boots. Thus, though the 
box-maker produces more values in use, the exchange-values which 
he produces remain what they were before. His four boxes, just like 
his two, have an exchange-value of one pair of boots only. 

Now it is quite possible to imagine a state of things to which this 
reasoning would apply. The box-maker might accidentally discover 
that a wood which he had hitherto neglected was twice as easy to 
work as that which he had used hitherto; and if his products were 
doubled by a pure accident such as this, Mr. Hyndman's reasoning 
would be no doubt true. But if two such workers as he supposes 
represent any reality at all, they certainly do not represent the reali- 
ties of any civilized community : and they fail to do so for the two 
following reasons. Firstly, production, as a fact, has not been in- 
creased by accident; but by the action of exceptional abilities which 
are a close natural monopoly. Secondly, Mr. Hyndman's illustra- 
tion, if it repi'esented anything at all, would represent a community 
in which one trade only was progressive; and such a community 
does not exist anywhere, nor is it worth our while to talk about it. 
In all progressive communities the progress is practically general. 
If the boot-maker, therefore, and the box-maker, are to illustrate the 
realities of civilization, we must imagine boot-making to become 
easier in the same proportion as box-making; and then we shall see 
that the position is completely changed. We shall see that the four 
boxes have an exchange-value not of one pair of *boots, but two. 
Thus, though the exchange-value of each separate article would 
remain unchanged, the number of these articles, and their aggregate 
values in exchange, would increase in the precise ratio of the 
increase in each worker's productivity. And this is the only point 
that is worth attention. All that Marx and Mr. Hyndman can 
prove from their theory is, that the exchange-value of the individ- 
ual article is not increased by its multiplication, whether through 
machinery or any other means; that is to say, individual articles do 



DEICAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 203 

not become dearer. But who ever maintained that they did? What 
man in his senses has cot always maintained the precise contrary? 
If one pair of boots cost two boxes a hundred years ago, because 
the boxes and boots then each took a man a day to make them ; and 
to-day, owing to machinery and invention, two pairs of boots and 
four boxes can be made in the same time, — the value of boots in 
terms of boxes, and the value of boxes in terms of boots will 
remain unchanged; but, labor-day for labor-day, each producer will 
be the producer of twice as many such values. 

Now, supposing for a moment that, for each kind of commodity 
thus multiplied, the demand is still undiminished, — or, in other 
words, supposing demand to be a constant quantity, — and supposing 
also that at each stage of production, no matter how many or how few 
commodities are produced during the average labor-day, the average 
amount of Ability devoted to each trade remains unaltered, it is no 
doubt true that at each of these stages labor-time will remain the 
measure of value. But the astonishing thing about Marx and 
bis disciples is, that they confuse the true proposition that labor- 
time, with certain strict reservations, is the measure of value, with 
the insane proposition that it is the cause of the multiplication of 
values,* and that consequently the gross value of the output of any 
factory, for instance, is altogether due to the labor of the operatives, 

' Let us express the natural productivity of a craftsman in each trade by the 
number 1. We shall then get the values of the products in each trade, during 
a given time, by merely multiplying this numbor by the number of craftsmen 
who produce them. Thus, if there are fifty craftsmen producing each kind of 
commodity, a day's product in each trade will have an exchange-value of 50. 
But if in certain of these trades, or in all of them to unequal degrees, some few 
men of genius contrive, by directing the craftsmen, to increase the unit of pro- 
duction per man from 1 to 3 in one trade, from 1 to 7 in another, and from 1 to 
8 in another, and if, on these men of genius ceasing thus to exert themselves, 
the productivity of labor should drop again to 1, the labor embodied in each set 
of commodities would still be an element in the value ; but it would no longer 
be the sole or even the chief element. The chief element to consider would be 
the augmented unit of productivity. It would be impossible any longer to tell 
tiie relative value of boots and boxes merely by reference to the fact that fifty 
men had produced so many of each in a day. We should have to know also the 
exact degree to which the unit of productivity had been in each case raised by 
the man of genius ; and the result of our calculation would depend not only on 
the fact that we had in each case to multiply something by 60 ; but on whether 
the something to be multiplied were 8, 7, 8, or any other number. As a matter 
of fact, among the various employers in each trade at any given time there 
is an average power of ability by which the power of labor is multiplied ; but 
exceptional ability always secures profits or exchange-values greater, in propor- 
tion to the amount of labor employed by it, than are secured by inferior ability. 



304 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

and not to the machinery bj which it is assisted, and the intelli- 
gence bj which it is economized and controlled.^ 

I need not, however, insist on this special point farther; for 
large numbers of thinkers among the Socialists themselves are 
beginning to admit the error of Marx in this particular; though 
naturally they are chary of showing, even if they themselves see, 
the error of their idol in all its true absurdity. I will therefore pass 
on to the second error of the great Socialist leader. 

His first error, as we have just seen, consists in his imperfect 
analysis of the relations of machinery, and of supply generally, to 
value. His second error consists in his completely ignoring the 
effect of demand on value. And the source of his error in this sec- 
ond respect is precisely the same as in the first. It consists in his 
failure to realize the profound difference between a rude society, 
whose products were so few and so necessary that the demand for 
each was obviously a constant quantity, and the modem civilization 
which he was specially concerned to analyze. The vital difference, 
so far as demand is concerned, between an advancing civilization 
such as our own, and savagery, or civilization in its infancy, depends 
on the fact that whereas in a savage state all production is produc- 
tion of the primary necessaries of life, or the commodities for which 
the demand is constant, these commodities in a civilized state are 
produced by a fewer and ever fewer number of men ; and the pro- 
ductive powers that are released from the production of necessaries 
are devoted to the production of superfluities. Economically, in 
short, civilization is a superstructure of superfluities raised on a 
foundation of necessaries, and progressively dwarfing in bulk, like 
all other rising structures, the foundation on which it rests. In 
other words, a community of a given size grows in material civiliza- 
tion, not in proportion to a decrease in the number of necessaries 
produced by it, but in proportion to the decrease in the number of 
the men required to produce them, and the consequent increase in 
the number of men who produce superfluities. Thus, in a civilized 
state, not only is the bulk of superfluities incomparably greater than 
the bulk of necessaries, but the number of men whose claim to a 
livelihood depends on the exchange- values embodied in superflui- 
ties is incomparably greater than the number of men whose similar 

* According to the theory of Marx, machinery adds to the value of products 
only in so far as it is worn out in producing them, and thus incorporates in the 
products the previous labor-time of the persons who made it. 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. %06 

claims depend on the exchange-value embodied in necessaries. Thus 
the problem of value in a civilized community is almost entirely a 
question of the exchange-value of superfluities. 

Now the main difference between the demand for bare necessaries 
and the demand for superfluities is that, while the first is practically 
fixed, the second is elastic and variable. Let us take instances. A 
certain amount of bread, or some equivalent food, is a daily neces- 
sary for every human being. Tobacco, wine, and theatrical enter- 
tainments are superfluities. Some men drink wine, and neither 
smoke nor care for the play ; others do both of these last things but 
drink no wine at all ; and the practice of men with regard to each 
varies at different times in their lives. At one time a man likes a 
cigar better than Burgundy; at another Burgundy better than a 
cigar; and at another he likes the play better than either; and his 
expenditure on these matters will vary according to his taste. To say 
this, however, is to state but half the truth. To the statement that 
his expenditure will vary according to his taste, we must add that it 
will vary according to the relations between the intensity of his taste 
— that is to say his desire for cigars, Burgundy, or the play, — and the 
sacrifice he will have to make in order to gratify this desire. Let 
us suppose a community of four men, each of whom, in their origi- 
nal condition, manages to produce just enough of one of four neces- 
saries to enable them all to live. Here, as has been said already, 
the demand, like the supply, is a constant quantity, and, this being 
so, labor is the measure of value. But now let us suppose that the 
community has become civilized, and that one man, owing to im- 
proved methods, can produce all the necessaries, and that, of the 
other three, one produces wine, another cigars, while the third amuses 
the rest by performances of Punch and Judy. So long as all three 
others are amused by these performances of the fourth, they may be 
willing each to give him a fourth part of what they produce — say a 
loaf of bread, a bottle of Burgundy, and three cigars daily. But 
suppose that the three grew somewhat tired of his performances, and 
decided between themselves that for two days out of three they 
would sooner smoke these three cigars and drink this bottle of Bur- 
gundy themselves. The utmost the performer could do would be to 
refuse to perform unless he received for his performances their orig- 
inal exchange-value: and the others would answer every two days 
out of three, " We have no wish that you should do so. " The per- 
former, who, ex hypothesis would think a cigar and a bottle of wine 



205 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

everj third day better than none at all, would inevitably have to 
accommodate himself to the terms offered by the others. In other 
words, the exchange-value of his performances would have fallen, 
not because they represented less labor, but because for this labor 
there was less demand. 

And now for these four kinds of labor let us substitute an indefi- 
nite number; and for individuals performing each let us substitute 
groups of individuals; and we shall have before us civilized society 
as it is: but the essence of the situation as above described will be 
absolutely unchanged. In any civilized society, from the very fact 
of its being civilized, there will always be a demand for superfluities 
of some sort, and to an indefinite extent; but the demand for super- 
fluities of any given kind is liable to constant variation. As a fact, 
any civilized public may be relied on to demand plays; but the 
demand for the individual plays offered to it vaiies indefiuitely 
alike in intensity and in duration, and has no calculable relation to 
the amount of labor involved in their production. A still more 
luminous example is that of a book or a newspaper. The labor 
involved in setting the type will be the same whether one copy 
is sold or a million; but the exchange- value of an edition will 
differ, since whatever part may be unsold will be merely so much 
waste paper. 

Now all this, so far as it relates to the existing system, is becoming 
gradually understood even by many Socialists; and the error com- 
mitted by Marx in ignoring the operation of demand is becoming as 
plain to them as the error which vitiates his analysis of supply. 
But one and all of these theorists imagine that, in some unexplained 
way, the operation of demand would be changed if the dream of 
Marx were realized, and if the exchange- values that, in each indus- 
trji go at present to the manager, the inventor, and the capitalist, 
were taken by the state and made over to the manual laborers. 
The great point on which to insist is as follows, — and, as soon as it 
it is once understood, it becomes the merest truism, — that such a 
change, could it be accomplished even without any injury to the 
industries in question, would not alter the question of values in 
any way whatever. 

Let us suppose that, at any given moment, the community as a 
whole pays for its cigars to the cigar-makers a million pounds annu- 
ally; and that half a million of this goes to the employers and the 
capitalists. Were the dream of Mnrx realized, the same gross sura 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 207 

would still be paid ; only this second half of it would be added to 
the wages of the operatives. That is to saj, their yrages would be 
doubled. But now let us suppose that, after this result is accom- 
plished, opium-smoking comes into fashion, and the demand for 
cigars is so weakened that the public will continue to buy the same 
number only on condition that thej are sold at a reduced price. 
The million pounds formerly expended will infallibly and necessarily 
shrink — let us say, for example's sake — to seven hundred and fifty 
thousand. That is to say the wages of the operatives are reduced 
by 25 per cent. So long as the employer takes a portion of the 
gross value, any reduction in that gross value may perhaps fall only 
upon him. Instead of wages being reduced by 25 per cent the 
profits of the employer may be reduced by 50. Thus the workmen 
are blinded to the real nature of the situation. So far as they are 
concerned, the employer acts as a buffer. Bat if once the Socialist 
could take the employer's profits and make them over to the manual 
laborers, the laborers would feel instantly, and with unmitigated 
severity, every decline in the demand for whatever commodity they 
might be producing.' 

The more completely we eliminate, in imagination, the figure of 
the employer and capitalist from society, the more completely does 
the inevitable, the imperious bearing of demand on values, and con- 
sequently on the receipts of the laborers, show itself. Let us divide 
a community into as many groups of laborers as there are commodi- 
ties or services demanded by the community as a whole at any 
given time. Let us say that there are ten groups, and ten kinds of 
commodities. Let us start with supposing that the amount of values 
which goes to each laborer is equal, because the demand for each 
commodity is in a certain given condition: and next let us take each 
commodity in succession, and suppose that the desire for it on the 

* During the last great coal-strike Id EDgland the ridiculous doctrine was 
taught that wages could he made to rule prices, instead of prices ruling wages. 
Were alU or even most of the coal-consumption in England, consumption for 
ahsoluto necessity, were it an irreducible minimum, and were all coal- product ion 
a monopoly in the hands of English workmen, — this would have been true in this 
case. But more than half the coal -consumption in the country is, directly or 
indirectly, consumption for superfluities; and these the public will have either 
at its own price or not at all. Further, with regard to monopolies, it is amus- 
ing to observe that while no men have more loudly denounced landlords and 
coal-owners as monopolists than the trade-union leaders, yet their main object 
during the great coal-strike was to place the colliers in the very position they 
denounced — i.e. of monopolists, not indeed of the mines themselves, but of the 
right to work in them. 



^8 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

part of the producers of the other nine commodities decreases. 
This means that the producers of these other nine commodities, who 
have hitherto been giving a tenth part of them to the producers of 
the tenth, would prefer either to consume a half of this tenth part 
themselves, or else to remain idle during the time required for its 
production, rather than give it, as hitherto, to the producers of the 
tenth commodity. Now it is evident that in such a case this tenth 
group of producers would find that their wages or receipts had 
fallen by exactly one-half ; but if they resented this calamity, what 
remedy would be open to them? Could they strike? A leader of 
strikes in a socialistic state would indeed see strikes with eyes from 
which scales had fallen. He would see that a strike among such a 
group of workers as we have supposed would be one-tenth of the 
laborers striking against nine-tenths; and endeavoring to extract 
from them by force commodities which they desired to retain. From 
the point of view of nine-tenths of the community such a strike 
would be simply an attempt at robbery. The fact that the tenth 
group offered something in exchange for what it demanded would 
not alter this fact. This group, from the point of view of the other 
groups, would be attempting to get a pound in exchange for every 
ten shillings, which is merely a disguised form of stealing ten shil- 
lings. It is easy to see that in such a case force would be useless: 
and the mere refusal of the strikers to supply their commodity 
except on such terms as would yield them what they considered " a 
living wage" is a weapon that would be broken by the reply of all 
the other laborers, which would be, " Then in that case we do not 
want your commodity at all. " In short we have only to follow the 
invitation of the Socialists so far as to imagine a state in which the 
laborers received everything, to realize that any attempt to make 
wages, instead of demand, regulate prices, would, on the part of 
whatever group of laborers might be concerned in it, be an attack 
on the interests of every other laborer in the community. 

Socialists, and others besides Socialists, have failed to grasp this 
point, because in the socialistic state, as at present conceived of by its 
advocates, the exchange of commodities would not be a direct trans- 
action, but would be accomplished by the state as an intermediary : 
and it is supposed that, as the state would in the first case receive all 
the commodities, and then superintend their distribution, any con- 
flict of interests between the various groups of workers would be 
avoided. But the state, though it might disguise for a time the 



DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 209 

nature of such a conflict, could alter the situation in one way only, 
and that is by tampering with values, — ^by robbing nine-tenths of the 
community for the benefit of one-tenth. Let us suppose that the 
general taste for theatrical performances declines; and that the 
theatres, which once were filled, are only half full now; and that 
the gross receipts (which we will suppose take the form of the Soci- 
alist's favorite labor-checks, and which will form the total divisible 
among the actors) yield them only half of what they consider a 
" living wage. " The situation could be altered only by the actors 
being paid a living wage by the state, and the performances being 
made free. But the sum required for the adequate remuneration of 
the actors would have to be extracted from the remainder of the 
public through taxation. Of some of the commodities which they 
had themselves produced, and which they prefer either to consume 
or not to be at the trouble of producing, the majority would be 
forcibly mulcted, in order to support men who gave them no ade- 
quate equivalent. The only difference would be that the immediate 
object of their hostility would not be actors, but the state; and as 
the state under Socialism would theoretically respond to the will of 
the majority, it is evident that very soon the claims of the actors 
would be disallowed. 

One thing only could prevent this, — and that would be the devel- 
opment of an unselfishness so great that it would entirely overbear 
all personal interests. Whether human nature as a whole is ever 
likely to exhibit such a development, need not be discussed here. 
All that I am here attempting to point out is, that so far as the 
interests of individuals are concerned, as embodied in demand and sup- 
ply, there would be the same conflict between them under Socialism 
that there is at the present moment; and that so long as the majority 
of human beings were motived by these interests, so long as they 
were pleased when their interests were subserved, and irritated when 
their interests were thwarted, those conflicts of interest which now 
show themselves in the form of strikes would be changed by Soci- 
alism only by being given a different form, and being changed from 
an attack on the capitalists, which has something of the character of 
a rebellion, into an attack upon all laborers other than the aggrieved 
section, which would partake of the character — infinitely more cruel 
and bitter — of a civil war. 

We thus come to the third point (c), with regard to which, as I 
have said, the theory of Marx is true. The great claim of Marx to 
14 



210 DEMAND AND SUPPLY UNDER SOCIALISM. 

be coDsidered a man of practical sagacity lies in the fact that he 
realized that all exchange, and all remuneration of the producers, does 
depend on the interest of the consumer, — does depend, that is to say, 
on the commodities which the producer offers, and not on what, as a 
private man, the producer happens to want. In so far as the theory 
of Marx rests on his analysis of exchange-value, faulty as that 
analysis isj it is a tribute to the great truth that we can understand 
what society will be, only by analyzing these great underlying facts, 
which make it what it is : and we have only to correct the errors 
which his analysis of values contains, to see that, were the social- 
istic system, as he conceived it, established, and did every 
laborer get what Marx thought was the full value of his products, 
not one of the elements of existing social discord would be abolished 
or even modified. We shall see in fact that so far are the effects of 
supply and demand from having been overstated by the orthodox 
economists, or from being transitory in their operation, that they 
would operate in a socialistic state even more rigidly, more unpity- 
ingly, and more openly than they do now; supposing only that the 
socialistic state be a civilized state, — not a collection of mere sav- 
ages laboriously producing bare necessaries, but a community of 
men with multitudes of tastes, wants, imaginations, and aspirations, 
and the means of approximately satisfying them. We shall see, by 
considering such an imaginary state, that Demand and Supply are 
merely the two economic sides of all civilization whatsoever; that 
Demand is merely the economic side of man^s mental civilization; 
and that Supply is merely the economic aspect of the means which 
he has devised for ministering to it. 

W. H. Mallock. 



THE EESUSCITATEON OF BLUE LAWS. 

The municipal authorities of New York city have recently begun 
the systematic enforcement of a law requiring saloons to be closed 
on Sunday. Public opinion being greatly exercised, I propose to 
discuss the social and political aspects of the liquor question from 
the standpoint of a man who drinks with moderation whenever he 
is so disposed, and who would like everybody else to enjoy the like 
privilege. 

The population of large cities consists of elements whose tastes 
and education differ with their nationality and religious beliefs ; their 
inclinations respecting the observance of a holiday vary accordingly. 
Their principal guide, however, must be necessity. The wealthy and 
middle classes can enjoy life according to their desires, — they may de- 
vote Sundays or any other days to rest and religion ; but to persons 
who work for a livelihood, the first day of the week alone offers op- 
portunity for that recreation which is so essential to continued health 
' of mind and body. These toilers constitute a large majority of our 
populace; to their industry we owe many of the comforts of life, and 
their wishes deserve our serious consideration. A ruthless inter- 
ference with the enjoyment of the short hours of their leisure, there- 
fore, is neither charitable nor wise. 

England has a reputation for well-regulated Sundays. There 
the meohanio can find in the outskirts of every town, a good inn 
whose license compels the keeper to serve his customers after church 
hours. On bright Sundays I have seen Hampton Court, Richmond, 
and Kew filled with crowds of men, women, and children who be- 
haved fully as well as our "four hundred" do at Delmonico's. 
Similar scenes present themselves on every holiday at the Bois do 
Boulogne in Paris, the Thiergarten in Berlin, and the Prater in 
Vienna : music adds charm to good cheer on the Continent. In all 
these places the sale of liquor is prohibited during the time reserved 
for worship. 

Our Sunday laws originated with the Puritans of New Eng- 
land, who observed it like the orthodox Jews; but in their religious 



212 THE RESUSCITATION OF BLUE LAWS. 

zeal they went farther than the laws of Moses warrant. Doctor 
Johann David Michaelis, a celebrated expounder of the Mosaic 
laws, says " the day was set apart in order to combine recreation with 
rest and devotion." He translates Exodns xxiii. 12: " object of the 
Sabbath is to give rest to ox and ass, refreshment to servant and 
stranger. " A strict observance was not countenanced by Jesus ; for, 
according to St. Mark (ii. 27), " the Sabbath was made for man, and 
not man for the Sabbath. " In speaking on this subject Dr. Martin 
Luther says, " Let us eat, drink, and be merry. " The perverted minds 
of exalted ascetics would fain turn a day which had been chiefily in- 
tended for rest and pleasure into one of fasting and prayer. Such 
narrow-minded individuals sit in judgment over their neighbors and 
disregard St. Paul's lesson (Colossians, ii. 16) : " Let no man therefore 
judge you in meat, or in drink^ or in respect of an holyday, or of the 
new moon, or of the Sabbath days. " 

No form of religion being recognized by our constitutions, the 
cause of temperance has been the ostensible object of Sunday and 
other prohibitory laws. Wine belongs to the class of drinks the sale of 
which is restricted because, with the rest of alcoholic beverages, Pro- 
hibitionists consider it deleterious, although its praise has been 
sung in a thousand melodies since Anacreon's time. In writing of 
its effect, Jonathan Pereira, an English medical authority, says: 
^* Wine used in moderate quantity is an almost indispensable stimu- 
lant. It quickens the action of the heart, augments the muscular 
force, and excites the mental powers. " I can speak from experience; 
for, although I have used wine daily for thirty-five years, my facul- 
ties have never been impaired, nor have I ever been ill. When I 
travel in this country, the pleasure with which I take claret with my 
dinner has often been an object of curiosity. The few persons who 
partake of their food with ease, drinking and conversing alternately, 
will soon be recognized in our country hotels as Americans who have 
been abroad, or as foreigners. The average American hurriedly con- 
sumes the contents of numerous dishes in silence, assisted only by 
draughts of cold water and hot coffee. More frequently he looks 
rather as if he were doing penance than taking refreshment ; for when 
he arises his face wears an expression of sorrow, as if he had been 
murdering his stomach. The historian Gervinus says : 

''Wine sharpeDs the sting of wit, stimulates spirited conversation, and 
brightens the atmosphere. Whoever has any cause to torn away from the real 
world, and longs for the freedom of living in an ideal one, is fond of wine. ^ 



THE RESUSCITATION OF BLUE LAWS. 213 

I attribute the prevalence of dyspepsia, our national disease, to the 
haste with which Americans generally take their meals without any 
stimulant other than a desire to return as quickly as possible to the 
routine of daily life. Elsewhere an hour or two is agreeably spent 
in discourse while the chief meal of the day is partaken of, in fam- 
ilies as well as in hotels. At the table d'hdte of a Continental 
hotel you will always find congenial spirits among your neighbors, 
whose chat enlivens the meal, while enjoying a glass of home-made 
wine, — "Vin ordinaire" in France, "Mosel" in Germany, "Vos- 
lauer" in Austria, and " Chianti" in Italy. Thus to drink is an 
intellectual as well as a physical pleasure. 

The alcoholic strength of table wines is about 10 per cent.* Beer 

is much weaker, the percentage of alcohol in several good brands 

being as follows : 

Percentage of Alcohol 

Mdnchen Spatenbr&u, Bock 5.23 

" Salvator 4.49 

Kulmbacher, dark 5. 29 

light 4.47 

Pilsener export 8.89 

London Porter (Barclay & Perkins) 6.90 

Scotch Ale 8.60 

The average strength of our own lager beer is about 4 per cent. 
Doctor de Vaucleroy, a delegate from Brussels to the International 
Temperance Congress at Zurich, says of fermented liquors whose 
alcoholic properties are small, that " they may be consumed in mod- 
erate quantities without evil effect; they possess a nutritive value, 
and are considered a necessary auxiliary of social life." Beer has 
been called "the liquid bread of the poor." When enemies joined 

' The following list gives the alcoholic strength of some of the wines com- 
monly used in the United States : 

Percentage of Alcohol 

Port and Madeira 20 to 28 per cent 

Sherry and Marsala 12 to 20 ** ** 

French white wines : 

Sauteme 15 ** •* 

Champagne 10 to 12 •* ** 

French red wines : 

Burgundy 16 ** 

Margauz and St. Estdphe 10 

Lafite 8to 9 « « 

German white wines : 

Rudesheimer and Geisenheimer 12 ** ** 

Hochheimer and Foster Riesling 10 ** ** 

Zeltinger and other light Moeel 7to 8 ** ** 



a 

M tf 



214 THE RESUSCITATION OF BLUE LAWS. 

and drank it, it was a sign of reconciliation, while casual acquaintance 
ripened into friendship after drinking " Briiderschaft" in the foaming 
mug. 

The man who buys his beer on Saturday to provide against Sun 
day thirst must procure it in bottles; which is neither so wholesome 
nor so palatable as when drawn fresh from the barrel. By compelling 
one, whose usual consumption is only an occasional glass, to buy a 
bottle of whiskey our Sunday laws encourage him to become in- 
temperate and to render others so. With a flask by his side in the 
solitude of his rooms he will drink more than is good for him, or at 
least more than he would take in a public place. Our prohibitory 
laws have generally had such results; and drunkenness is compara- 
tively more prevalent in the Prohibition States than elsewhere. 
John Parker Hale said that " there were never so many places where 
liquor is openly sold as under the operation of our prohibitory laws 
in New Hampshire. " I drank more than usual when I happened to 
be in Boston while liquor was for a short time prohibited in 
Massachusetts ; every friend I called upon invited me to drink at 
his ^^ club. '' I soon found that saloons had been turned into 
private clubs to which customers had latch-keys. When I spent 
a night with a friend in Brookline, I found on the shelves of 
his library rows of sham books, under the covers of which bottles 
of rye and bourbon were hidden instead of the verses of Homer and 
Virgil. Means will be found in New York to evade our ridicu- 
lous Sunday law : forbidden fruit always tastes sweetest. I under- 
stand that Sunday clubs for poor men have already been organized 
in this city. 

We consider Liberty and Equality our greatest privileges; but 
men are not equal who may on the same day become " as drunk as 
lords" at the Qolden Gate and in the Rue Boyale of New Orleans, 
gambling away their fortunes with impunity, while they would be 
arrested as criminals if they were to partake of a bottle of claret with 
their meals in Bangor, Maine. The statutes which forbid drinking 
on Sunday apply to different parts of this and other States, but are 
enforced only in New York city. The Constitution says that the 
privileges of citizens shall not be abridged ; but the local enforcement 
of the Sunday law does abridge the privileges of the venders of beer 
and liquor, because it drives their customers from the city to other 
places, where they may drink without fear of molestation. This is 
an encroachment on the personal rights of these citizens. The in- 



THE RESUSCITATION OF BLUE LAWS. 215 

equality between men who can afiord the luxuries and priyileges of 
club-life, and those who cannot, is more glaring still. 

This liquor law was passed by Republicans in 1857, before the use 
of lager beer had become general ; it was reenacted by Democrats in 
1892 for the purpose, as some Republicans claim, of strengthening 
the corrupt power of Tammany Hall. Several legislators then shame- 
lessly admitted that they voted for the measure only in the expecta- 
tion that it would never be enforced. It is not immoral to drink ; 
nor is the sale of liquor on Sunday, unless carried on so openly as to 
cause public scandal, of itself an evil. Drinks have usually been 
fiunished to orderly persons who wanted to satisfy an innocent natural 
craving. In stopping this sale the ostensible object of the Police 
Commissioners was to hinder policemen from levying blackmail on 
the venders. I am constrained to think that a part of the hue and 
cry raised against this practice must be an exaggeration ; and it is 
certain tha patrolmen would not have made a practice of inter- 
fering with the human, if not legal rights of saloonkeepers, if 
their superiors had not encouraged them to do so. As the cure 
is often more fatal than the disease, so may the means now being 
taken to abate this nuisance degenerate the morals of the police more 
than the nuisance itself did. The police force was created to prevent 
crime, not to instigate it. Mr. Roosevelt has revived a system of 
espionage which his predecessors had discontinued ; he permits police- 
men and volunteer detectives in disguise to enter side doors of saloons 
on Sunday, to persuade their keepers to furnish drink, and then to 
arrest them. If it be the duty of Mayor Strong to cause such action to 
be taken, it must have been the duty of his predecessors for nearly forty 
years past, — including such men as Opdyke, Qunther, Havemeyer, 
and Grace. The only Reform mayor who made an attempt to enforce 
the odious law was Abram S. Hewitt, and he gave it up in despair 
after the trial of a few weeks. In Brooklyn Mr. Seth Low refused to 
interfere; the cautious Republican Mayor Schieren takes no action. 

The success of the Reform movement was largely due to German 
voters ; and as they were given to understand that their Sunday 
recreation would not be interfered with they are now naturally irri- 
tated. They realize the diflSculty of getting this law repealed, al- 
though it is unequal and has been used as an instrument for blackmail 
in the past. Temperance men from the rural districts and cities, who 
form a large majority among the Assemblymen at Albany, are not 
likely to listen to reasonable argument. While Germans are loyal 



216 



THE RESUSCITATION OF BLUE LAWS. 



citizens, and will obey the law to the letter so long as it remains 
on the statute-books, they will probably inaugurate a campaign of 
education to convince the community that even the poor man who 
drinks beer on Sunday may be a respectable member of society. I 
think that a good substitute for present legislation would be local 
option for large cities, a majority deciding for each municipality how 
the liquor traffic should be regulated. 

I advocate the creation of a responsible Excise Board with ample 
power, consisting of merchants, chemists, physicians, and lawyers of 
high standing ; their duties to be : 

1. To adjust the amounts to be paid for licenses, and to decide to 
whom and on what terms they ought to be issued. Only a reason- 
able charge, not over $50 per annum, should be made for the priv- 
ilege of selling fermented liquors, inclusive of wine, containing less 
than 14 per cent of alcohol ; * such license to be granted to every re- 
liable applicant. Ardent spirits animate the blood; when taken in 
moderation they act like medicine; they become poisonous when 
taken to excess. A thousand dollars a year may be. a proper charge 
for the privilege of selling distilled liquors in New York: this 
amount was advocated by Howard Crosby. Whatever charge b*^ 
made, the privilege ought to be granted only to men of good morals ; 
they should be placed under bonds, and made responsible for the 
orderly conduct of their customers and the lawful behavior of their 
employees. The license of any establishment furnishing ardent 
liquor to a minor or other irresponsible person should be revoked. 

2. To make, from time to time, a chemical analysis of liquors 
sold to the public. According to the English and Bavarian laws, 
beer must consist solely of barley-malt and hops: here drugs are 

* I quote from the Tenth Annual Report (1879) of the Health Board of Massa- 
chusetts : ** Light German beer is used more each year, to the exclusion of 
stronger liquors, — a change which should be hastened by legislative encourage- 
ment of the sale of mild liquors. ^ 

The production and consumption of beer in 1890 was : 







Total Annual Ck>DSumptioD 


Proportion for Each Inhabitant 


1. Belgium 


about 


290, 592, 500 j 


gallons. 


46.76 j 


gallons. 


2. Great Britain 


11 


1,878,710.000 


M 


89.98 


u 


8. Germany 


u 


1,400,127,500 


M 


27.94 


u 


4. Denmark 


u 


59,439,875 


U 


27.18 


u 


5. United States 


u 


977,447,500 


U 


15.82 


M 


6. Switzerland 


u 


26.417,500 


U 


10.57 


M 


7. Netherlands 


M 


89.626,250 


M 


8.98 


U 


8. France 


U 


224.548,750 


U 


5.81 


M 



THE RESUSCITATION OF BLUE LAWS. 217 

used in the preparation of lager beer, some as substitutes for hops, 
others in order to ripen it prematurely, a process which sometimes 
takes only as many weeks as it does months in Bavaria. There are 
wines in the market which do not contain a vestige of grape-juice. 
Among the adulterations of whiskey is coloring to give it the ap- 
pearance of age. Whenever adulterated liquor is discovered, the 
entire stock should be spilled in the public highway (as is done in 
Bavaria), and the license of the dealer in whose possession it is found 
should be revoked forever. We should probably then have whole- 
some beer and wine without importing it from England, France, and 
Germany, and could procure a drink of whiskey without fear of 
being poisoned. I do not apprehend that such laws would be found 
unconstitutional. 

When a drunken man becomes offensive or disorderly, he ought 
to be punished ; but aside from such wholesome restriction I favor 
the free sale of liquor at all times except during the hours of service 
on Sundays ; and I see no reason why the liberty of one person should 
be restrained because another person cannot control himself. 

Louis Windmuller. 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION 

PERIOD. 

There were men of great and varied ability among the political 
leaders of the Reconstruction period, in the events of which, as a 
Federal Senator, it fell to my lot to play a part; but looking back upon 
it now, when the lapse of nearly thirty years has made possible a calm, 
dispassionate survey of the men and measures of that era, I am more 
than ever persuaded that it was a heavy, almost fatal misfortune that 
the Republican party, then dominant in every branch of the Govern- 
ment, was wholly unfitted as a political organization for the work in 
hand. The reason for this is plain now if it was not then. Brought 
into being in 1856 for the avowed and practically sole purpose of 
destroying the institution of slavery, and engaged until the close of 
the war in attaining that end, the party had been bom and bred to 
the work of destruction. But the work of rebuilding fallen States 
and reorganizing social and economic conditions had now come, and 
a Congress elected on the issues of the war and elat<ed by recent vic- 
tory, in no sense equipped for so great and delicate a task, was 
forced to undertake the restoration of a fallen civilization. 

Amid the confusion of the proposed schemes for reconstruction, 
Abraham Lincoln was perhaps the one man who saw clearly what 
was most needed and the best means of securing it. As the end of 
the struggle came in view his mind instinctively turned to the ques- 
tion he saw must soon arise as to how the revolted States were to be 
restored to their proper relations to the Union. Mr. Lincoln had 
no sympathy with the doctrine that the States of the South had com- 
mitted suicide and were dead, clearing the ground for the erection 
of such political structures as the victors might determine upon, but 
held rather that they were dormant, awaiting the authority of the 
General Government to set them again in motion on lines consistent 
with the new order of things, including the abolition of slavery. On 
this basis he projected a scheme of reorganization by the appointment 
of provisional governors and other necessary officials, and providing 
for their immediate resumption of the Federal positions in the several 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 219 

States that had become vacant bj force of the rebellion. This was 
a very natural process of reconstruction. It was as far as Mr. Lincoln 
then proposed to go. It was only a beginning, but it reestablished 
government in those States, demonstrated that they were still mem- 
bers of the Union, and proved that as American citizens the people of 
the Southern States were as much citizens of the United States as ever 
they were, and that as such it was the duty of the Federal Govern- 
ment to protect them in all their rights. So, as one of the leaders of 
the Reconstruction period, Mr. Lincoln stands vastly above and far 
in advance of all the others who took up the work after him. 

Andrew Johnson, however, while indorsing and accepting the 
Lincoln plan of reconstruction, lacked his predecessor's fine sagacity 
and unequalled ability to mould and direct public opinion, and, un- 
prepared as he was for his sudden and unlooked-for elevation to the 
Presidency, it is not a matter for surprise that he failed to satisfy 
public expectation, or that he has passed into history as the most 
generally and perversely hated man by his political opponents that 
ever sat in the Presidential chair. The people expected impossibili- 
ties from Mr. Johnson, as they would have expected from any other 
successor of Mr. Lincoln, and, of course, they were disappointed. 
The jealousies that even before Mr. Lincoln's death had begun to 
crop out in the chance utterances of public men found expression 
in critical and unsought advice to Mr. Johnson as to the policies he 
should pursue. But to all he answered plainly that he proposed to 
carry out Mr. Lincoln's plans of administration and restoration; and 
the more firmly he adhered to that purpose, the more open and 
vicious became the assaults of his accusers. Following this, a hostile 
Congress sought to hamper him on every side and in every con- 
ceivable way. Had he possessed Mr. Lincoln's rare tact in such 
controversies, and rarer ability to bend the wills of strong men to act 
in unison with his own, and to enlist the masses of the people in his 
support despite the opposition of their local leaders, the results would 
perhaps have been different. But, lacking these qualities, the odds 
were against the President, and the struggle went on until it culmi- 
nated in the futile effort to remove him from office. Despite his often 
brusque exterior Mr. Johnson was at heart ]U9t and considerate, a 
sincere lover of his country, and a true and pure patriot. 

Edwin M. Stanton, who was Secretary of War during a large 
part of the Lincoln and Johnson administrations, and who began 
as Johnson's friend, but soon became one of his bitterest enemies, 



220 POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 

was in many respects a most extraordinary man. His was a con- 
tradictory and often puzzling personality, and one to which it is 
difficult to do justice, for he was seldom just to himself. Gifted 
with marked administrative ability, his conduct of his great office 
was marked by wonderful energy, and he was often of great and 
inestimable service to the country. On the other hand, his official 
career was marred by unreasoning personal hatreds and grievous 
personal injustices, and Mr. Lincoln was often compelled to counter- 
mand his orders, to prevent private injury and public wrong. He 
had supreme confidence in himself, and little or noue in any other 
than himself; but it is to be said in his behalf that there was nothing 
veual about him, and that fact places a long mark to his credit, serv- 
ing as he did at a time when venality was rampant in public places. 

In the early 'forties I had been an ardent admirer of Salmon P. 
Chase, then coming into prominence in Ohio as a champion of the 
anti -slavery cause, and when I came to know him in Washington 
thirty years later my early admiration ripened into profound respect. 
Mr. Chase was a politician of a high type in the best sense of that 
much-abused term ; a man of distinctive and superior personality 
and of rare natural dignity; possessed of a fine and delicate con- 
sideration for others, broad, liberal, and just in his views of public 
affairs; and intuitively correct in his estimates of public men. His 
personal appearance was most impressive. Mr. Chase was Mr. Lin- 
coln 's first Secretary of the Treasury, and to him the country was in- 
debted for the financial system that carried it successfully through 
the war. Later, as Chief Justice, presiding in the Senate on the 
trial of Mr. Johnson, he was the ideal of a just and impartial judge, 
and his part therein was one of the most honorable passages in an 
illustrious career. 

Benjamin P. Wade, of Ohio, who was President jpro iem. of the 
Senate when I entered that body in 1866, was long a unique and 
striking figure in American politics. Entering the Senate at the 
height of the anti-slavery struggle, late in the 'fifties, his lack of 
education was more than compensated by his force of character and 
native resources; and these, coupled with his bold and always 
aggressive discussion of the great topics then uppermost in the public 
mind, soon gave him high rank with his party associates. Events, 
however, proved him a poor commander. As presiding officer of the 
Senate he was not a success, and the fact that he permitted himself to 
be forced to vote for the deposition of Mr. Johnson under conditions 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 221 

that made him that gentleman's successor as President, was a blemish 
on his career that can never be eJSaced. But the glitter of the bauble 
had for the moment turned his head. Later, his failure to secure the 
coveted prize of the Presidency seemed to have soured his naturally 
genial, buoyant temperament, and those who had previously enjoyed 
his friendship came to be regarded by him as his personal enemies. 
In the end, however, he became reconciled, and just before his death I 
received the verbal message from him, " Tell Boss it was all right," 
— referring, of course, to my vote against impeachment, and his conse- 
quent exclusion from the Presidency. In March, 1869, Mr. Wade 
was succeeded in the Senate by Allan 6. Thurman, who at once 
took high rank in the Senate. Though handicapped by an over- 
whelming Bepublican majority against him, no man in the Senate had 
more completely the unquestioning confidence of all in his honor and 
fidelity to his convictions. To his followers the historic red band- 
anna was a gonfalon, and, to his opponents, in turn a flag of truce or 
of defiance. 

John Sherman was the other Senator from Ohio during the 
Beconstruction period. He had entered Congress as a Free-Soiler in 
1852, and at the time of which I write had developed into an active, 
forceful, and very influential Bepublican leader. The most remark- 
able feature of Mr. Sherman's long public career has been his singular 
ability successfully to champion at different times opposite sides of 
important questions, and yet retain his influence in the councils of 
his party. His attitude on the impeachment was a memorable case 
in point. It was he who first developed the weakness o( the case 
against the President by demonstrating that Stanton's dismissal from 
the office of Secretary of War was not an infraction of the Tenure-of • 
Office Act, and therefore not an impeachable offence, since Mr. 
Stanton, as Mr. Lincoln's and not Mr. Johnson's appointee, was not 
protected by that act. However, Mr. Sherman preserved his hold 
upon his party by declaring his purpose of voting for the President's 
impeachment on the second and third articles, which were based on 
the first and had no force save in connection therewith. His pro- 
impeachment colleagues were satisfied with this seeming and tardy 
repentance ; but from the moment he avowed his opposition to the 
first article, the impeachment enterprise was doomed, and Mr. Sherman 
is too shrewd a man not to have known it. Many doubted whether 
Mr. Sherman was in reality an honest supporter of the impeachment 
movement, and kls <x>urse in this regard affords some grounds for that 



222 POLinGAL T1EADRR8 OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 

doubt, but it is a fair illustration of his ability to trim his sails to 
every varying breeze. Cool, calculating, and austere, Mr. Sherman 
has been able to retain his hold upon public life continuously for more 
than forty years, — a record almost without a parallel in our history. 

Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, was in some respects the most 
conspicuous figure in the Senate during the Beconstruction period. 
A man of ripe scholarship and extreme polish, of commanding 
physique and stately pose, and skilled in all the arts of the orator, 
his assumption of the floor in debate was, as a rule, a promise of an 
hour's intellectual feast. During his long service in that body he had 
come — perhaps unconsciously — to regard himself as the intellectual 
premier of the Senate, and to consider it a personal indignity for a 
younger member to criticise his acts or dispute the correctness of his 
conclusions. This peculiarity early led to an unpleasantness between 
Mr. Sumner and myself which continued until -after my retirement 
from the Senate. Afterwards, however, he was great enough to see, 
and generous enough to acknowledge, that he had made a mistake. 
His course in the impeachment trial, in marked contrast to that of the 
majority of his party associates, showed a desire to deal fairly with 
the President, he voting to hear all that was offered in his behalf, 
though also declaring for his conviction and removal at its close. 

Henry Wilson, Mr. Sumner's colleague, was a broad -brained, 
large-hearted man who cared little for the petty and merely partisan 
considerations which governed so many of his associates in the im- 
peachment trial, and his subsequent declarations showed that he deeply 
regretted many things that marked and marred the proceedings of the 
Senate in that affair. A kindly, genial man, thoroughly self -poised 
and independent, he was a typical American Senator of the highest 
type. The Republic has had few better servants than Henry Wilson. 

The same is true of William Pitt Fessenden, of Maine, who en- 
tered the Senate before the war and quickly took high rank for his 
ability, splendid fitness for his new duties, and thorough comprehen- 
sion of the questions upon which he was called to act. He was long 
the chairman of the Beconstruction Committee, and, in a very complete 
sense, a leader of the Senate in that great and critical work. In the 
Senate caucus on the impeachment question he delivered a strong 
argument against the conviction of the President, and every effort 
was made to induce him to change his position, but in vain. Though 
a political opponent of Mr. Johnson's, the logical conclusions he had 
reached outweighed all considerations personal to himself, and his 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 223 

was the first Bepublican vote against conviction. A sensitive and 
not physically vigorous man, the intense hostility of his Bepublican 
associates, engendered by this act, afEected him most keenly, and, it is 
not too much to say, drove him, a few months later, to his grave. In 
his death the country lost one of its greatest, bravest, and truest men. 

When I entered the Senate, Beverdy Johnson, of Maryland, was 
its oldest member both in age and length of service, and no man in 
that body stood higher in the affectionate regard of his colleagues of 
both parties. I shall never forget the kindly consideration shown by 
him to younger members whenever they approached him for informa- 
tion relating to any topic of legislation under discussion. He appre- 
ciated the fact that his career in the Senate was about to end, and his 
constant desire seemed to be to close it with the pleasing conscious- 
ness that he had knowingly omitted no proper opportunity to impart 
to others a measure of the vast and valuable knowledge of public 
affairs with which his great brain was stored. 

At the opening of the Reconstruction period Lyman Trumbull, of 
Illinois, had been for many years an honored leader in the Senate, 
enjoying the confidence of his party and the respect of his political 
opponents. His age and experience, but more especially his matured 
and discriminating judgment, gave great weight to his opinions and 
purposes. He was the compeer of Lincoln and Douglas, and had 
shared with them many of ihe political campaigns that had given re- 
nown to his State. Personally of a gentie and affable nature, the 
younger members of the Senate at all times and on all questions found 
Mr. Trumbull an ever willing and safe adviser. But he disagreed 
with his party on the impeachment scheme, and all his years of splen- 
did service to his country in its most critical hours went for naught. 

No State was more ably represented in the Senate during the 
Reconstruction period than was Indiana by Oliver P. Morton and 
Thomas A. Hendricks. Mr. Morton, from the date of his entry 
into the Senate in 1867, took high rank in the leadership of his 
party. Unlike most of his partisans he showed generous tolerance 
of the differences of opinion and judgment which led a portion of 
his Republican colleagues to oppose the conviction of Mr. Johnson, 
and a courageous disregard for the dictum of banishment from the 
party councils which the majority had entered up against these dis- 
senting members. On more than one occasion he rendered the latter 
valuable aid in the procurement of needed legislation for their States. 
It was a public misfortune that Mr. Morton's physical disabilities 



224 POLITICAL LKADRR8 OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 

made impossible on his part a longer participation in public affairs; 
but while he remained in the Senate he was seldom absent from his 
seat, and as rarely failed to take an active and beneficial interest in 
the disposal of the business of legislation. Mr. Hendricks, his 
colleague, was then the undisputed leader of the Democratic party 
in the Senate. Able, shrewd, and tactful, a good parliamentarian, 
and with few equals in running debate, Mr. Hendricks commanded the 
respect, and in a signal degree the confidence, of the entire Senate. 

James W. Grimes, then the senior Senator from Iowa, was emi- 
nently a product of American conditions and life. Emigrating to 
Iowa while yet a young man, he became by turns stage-driver, 
hotel -keeper, merchant, and politician, till middle age found him a 
Senator of the United States. Added to exceptional native abil- 
ity, the vicissitudes of Western life, and an education secured by 
close application to his books after the laborious occupations of the 
day, gave him a strenuous but fitting equipment for the discharge of 
public duty, and when I entered the Senate he had come to be 
regarded as one of the wisest and most trusted leaders of his party. 
At the conclusion of the impeachment trial Mr. Grimes was a marked 
figure. A few days before he had been stricken with a fatal illness, 
and as he arose to his feet on that fateful day, supported by friends 
on either side, the scene became at once pathetic and heroic. In his 
then physical condition, and in view of the personal and political 
enmities his vote would provoke, it was apparent that he was about 
to perform the last important public act of his life. But, though 
enfeebled by the illness that was upon him, he gave no signs of hesi- 
tancy or weakness, and his vote was " not guilty." He died shortly 
after, and no man ever departed from the Senate leaving behind more 
sincere friends or more ardent admirers for his courage and his manly, 
companionable qualities. James Harlan, the colleague of Mr. Grimes, 
was a unique figure in the Senate. In earlier days a frontier Metho- 
dist preacher, he had much of the habit of that fraternity in his style 
of address and method of argument. Yet, of large frame and 
powerful physique, he was forceful and at times singularly impressive 
in language and manner, and by no means without influence in giving 
direction to the decisions of the Senate. Mr. Harlan represented the 
then controlling ideas and characteristics of his State, jbnt belonged 
to a class of frontier politicians that is now practically extinct. 

Zachariah Chandler, the senior Senator from Michigan, was in 
many respects a typical Westerner. Entering the Senate at the open- 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 225 

ing of the war, his native tact, personal force, and extreme radicalism, 
soon made him a prominent and influential figure. During the im- 
peachment trial he was one of the most relentless and vicious of Mr. 
Johnson's persecutors, and had no patience and little association with 
those of less radical views. Huge-framed and loud-voiced, his 
noisy oratory was impressive, but not convincing; and it was quite 
as impossible for him to convert his hearers to his own ways of 
thinking as it was for others to impress him with the correctness 
of views contrary to his own. He was an obtrusive figure of a type 
that has passed, with slight cause for regret, and probably forever, 
from the Senatorial stage. Jacob M. Howard, the other Senator 
from Michigan, oJBEered a sharp contrast to his colleague. They were 
alike bitter partisans and unrelenting in their hostility to the Presi- 
dent, but there the resemblance ended. Mr. Howard was a man 
of ability and culture, had had a distinguished career at the bar, and 
proved an industrious and useful Senator. Though intensely radical 
in his political convictions he was capable of doing justice to an 
opponent, and this was a quality not possessed by Mr. Chandler. 

James B. Doolittle, of Wisconsin, was an influential factor in 
the work of the Senate during the Keconstruction period. Prom its 
formation and until the close of the war he was a conspicuous leader 
in the Republican party and contributed in generous measure to its 
great work for the preservation of the Union. Justly regardful of 
the rights of all, when the armies of the rebellion laid down their 
arms he believed the war at an end, and that the time had arrived 
for the assertion of the doctrines of peace and of a united nationality. 
Por this he was driven from the Senate, but no man ever held a seat 
in that body who was more thoroughly imbued with a sense of public 
or private justice, or animated with a firmer purpose to fill it accept- 
ably and to the greatest good of his country. His colleague, Timothy 
0. Howe, was a wiry, active, and more or less influential participant 
in the legislation of the period. He had many excellent qualities 
and was a man of more than average ability. He was one of the two 
Bepublican Senators who contributed so efifectually to the defeat of 
the Johnson impeachment by announcing in the Senatorial conference 
that he could not vote to sustain the first article of the indictment, 
which set out the head and front, the basic facts, of the President's 
oflEending. To oflEset this defection, however, and apparently to save 
himself from ostracism by his party, Mr. Howe was all the more 
pronounced and eager for conviction on certain other articles. 
15 



226 POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE BEOONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 

Edgar Cowan, of Pennsylvania, left the Senate soon after I entered 
that body. A wise counsellor and a true friend, Mr. Cowan's sturdy 
independence, which would not permit him to work easily in party 
grooves, no less than his vigorous and well-trained intellect, made him 
a power in the Senate at a time when men of his stamp were most 
needed there. It would be difficult to imagine two men more dis- 
similar than Mr. Cowan and Simon Cameron, — who succeeded him in 
1867. Possessed of the proverbial thrift and shrewdness of his 
Scotch ancestors, and never over-scrupulous in aims or methods, Mr. 
Cameron was of that class of men who never forgive an injury, real 
or fancied, and never forget a favor. Though a man of companion- 
able instincts and generous impulses, his public career was not a 
success in the correct purview of that term. Like Mr. Cowan, 
Charles B. Buckalew, the other Senator from Pennsylvania, was the 
reverse of Mr. Cameron in almost very particular. An educated and 
scholarly man, Mr. Buckalew, in his association with his fellow 
members, was always courteous, respectful, and considerate. Mr. 
Buckalew retired from the Senate in 1869, but still lives to take a 
lively interest in political affairs. 

George F. Edmunds, of Vermont, was an interesting jBgure in the 
Senate during the Beconstruction period. Angular mentally and phy- 
sically, of deep research and studious habits, a ready and adroit 
debater, and a keen, critical lawyer, he was dubbed " St. Jerome" by 
his more intimate friends. Having previously served for some time 
in the House, he came to the Senate in 1866 already equipped for 
active participation in its proceedings, and early in his membership 
took eminent rank in that body. The close intimacy speedily estab- 
lished between Mr. Edmunds and Mr. Thurman — members of radi- 
cally opposite and wholly irreconcilable political schools — was one of 
the interesting and unexplainable anomalies of the Senatorial inter- 
course of the time. It was quite a David-and- Jonathan affair. Sitting 
on opposite sides of the Chamber, they seemed to have quietly estab- 
lished a signal-code, and it was not uncommon to see them passing 
out at opposite doors during a lull in the proceedings, and, after a 
brief absence, spent together in committee-room or at the refectory 
below, return together with indications that something more than 
state affairs had been the occasion of their tryst. Luke P. Poland, 
who, as the successor of Jacob Collamer, was Mr. Edmunds's colleague 
until 1867, was a unique personality in the Senate as he was later in 
the House. His strong features, keen eyes, and angular figure. 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 227 

emphasized bj his peculiar dress, — he always wore a blue broadcloth 
full dress coat, set oS with flaring brass buttons, — would have at- 
tracted attention in any assemblage. 

Boscoe Conkling, of New York, entered the Senate in 1867 at 
the age of thirty-eight, and at once took first rank as a leader on 
the Republican side. Though in most respects a stubborn and 
extreme partisan, Mr. Conkling always awarded to others the same 
right to their opinions that he claimed for himself. At the close of 
the Johnson trial a project to expel me from the Senate on the charge 
of corruptly voting against the impeachment was set on foot by the 
leaders of the prosecution in the House. Hearing of this, Mr. Conk- 
ling came to me and said that if such a proposition reached the Senate, 
or was likely to do so, I should let him know, and he would " take 
care of it. " That was sufficient. The leaders of the impeachment 
crusade, with Ben Butler at their head, were moving heaven and 
earth to find something tangible upon which to base a pretext for my 
expulsion, but they were soon obliged to abandon their futile efforts. 
Mr. Conkling possessed many of the elements of true greatness, and, 
in the consideration of the problems which confronted the country 
during the Reconstruction period, no man took a weightier or more 
authoritative part than he ; but the quality that most impressed his 
fellow Senators was his extraordinary will-power. Few men in recent 
American history have been endowed with greater force of character. 
In the face of apparently insurmountable obstacles Mr. Conkling bore 
down all opposition, and this quality was as noticeable in adversity as 
in success ; for, after he had been defeated in his subsequent contest 
with the Garfield Administration, nothing could induce him to alter 
his resolve to refrain from all participation in political contests. Mr. 
Conkling's career was a signal example of what can be accomplished 
through unalterable purpose and unfaltering zeal. 

Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware, took his seat in the Senate two 
years after Mr. Conkling's entrance, succeeding his father James A. 
Bayard. The elder Bayard had been chosen by the legislature in 
1867 to fill the unexpired term of George Riddle, and the son had 
been named at the same time for the succeeding full term, — an elec- 
tion without a parallel in the history of this country. The younger 
Bayard soon won recognition in the Senate as an effective and scholarly 
debater and an industrious and careful legislator. Under the peculiar 
conditions at that time prevailing in the Senate, there was little that 
a Democratic Senator — especially one of recent entry into the body — 



228 POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 

could do to identify himself with or to influence legislation, but, ever 
a safe and sagacious counsellor, Mr. Bayard was able to overcome these 
conditions, and in later years the dignity and wisdom of American 
senatorship was illustrated in his career — a career still rich in promise 
for the future — in a degree far greater than he was honored by it. 

John B. Henderson, of Missouri, was another of the bright, ever 
alert young men of the Senate. Mr. Henderson was one of the seven 
Eepublican Senators who deliberately ended their political careers by 
opposing the impeachment of Mr. Johnson. While he had the seem- 
ing advantage in that controversy of representing a State whose people 
were largely opposed to the conviction of the President, that fact did 
not save him from the unsparing anathemas of his partisan constitu- 
ents and associates. Independent and fearless, and actuated by a 
strong sense of justice and patriotic devotion to his convictions, he 
voted " not guilty, " and at the end of his term cheerfully retired from 
the Senate, conscious of a duty well and unselfishly performed. Than 
Carl Schurz, who succeeded Mr. Henderson in 1869, few men have 
had a more varied career. Mr. Schurz came to the United States in 
1848, a political exile from Prussia, whence he had been driven for 
his part in the revolution of that year. Here he drifted about from 
one place to another, and from one occupation to another, by turns 
editor, orator, soldier, and politician, until in 1869 he brought up in 
the Senate from Missouri. The tendency to shift and change that 
has characterized him all his life marked his career in the Senate, 
and rendered it, despite his brilliant intellectual powers, a compara- 
tive failure. His subsequent record is familiar to all. 

Garrett Davis, then Senator from Kentucky, was a kindly and 
pleasing reminder of the ante-beUum era. Somewhat prolix and over- 
ornate in his style of oratory, and wedded to the customs and con- 
ditions of his younger days, be sometimes tried the patience of 
the Senate with his labored essays. He could not adapt himself 
to the new and to him anomalous and disastrous phases the af- 
fairs of the country had taken on, and throughout his term in the 
Senate these things seemed to him to be in the nature of a personal 
affliction. 

Joseph S. Fowler, of Tennessee, entered the Senate in July, 1866. 
He had been an active business man before engaging in politics, and 
during the war an ardent and potential supporter of the Union cause. 
Manly, modest, and clear-headed, he soon won the kindly regard and 
respect of his associates, but, as in the case of all Republican Senators 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 229 

who failed to support the impeachment of Mr. Johnson, his public 
career ended with the term he was then serving in the Senate. 

Peter G. Van Winkle, of West Virginia, was in some ways a unique 
figure in the Senate. He was one of the first Senators from the new 
State of West Virginia — a quiet, grave man externally, but ever 
ready for a bout of pleasantry with his friends. Though a silent 
man he always had the courage of his convictions, and he, too, 
** went to the stake" cheerfully with his six Eepublican colleagues 
for refusing to vote for the impeachment. Mr. Van Winkle died at 
his home in West Virginia soon after the close of the Johnson trial. 

William M. Stewart, of Nevada, — returned not long since to the 
Senate after an absence therefrom of a considerable number of years, — 
was for two terms covering the Beconstruction period, as he is now, a 
conspicuous figure in that body. Large of mould both in body and 
brain, thoroughly equipped in knowledge of the world and its ways, 
of a genial, generous, but fearless temper, he early took rank in the 
Senate as a liberal-minded, useful, and capable member. Deeply 
imbued with practical Western ideas of progress and development, 
broadly national in all his instincts, and confident of the mighty part 
that the West is to play in the development of our national indus- 
tries, and, through that development, also in the politics of the world, 
Mr. Stewart is likely, before he again leaves the Senate, to exercise a 
more or less radical influence upon our national industries. Mr. 
Stewart's colleague during a portion of the Beconstruction period 
was James W. Nye, a violent partisan, but a man of sterling common 
sense and homely yet caustic and delightful wit. In earlier life he 
had been an extremely popular stump orator, and in the Senate 
he was often able, with a telling anecdote or a laugh -provoking 
illustration, to demolish at a blow the labored arguments of an op- 
ponent. On one occasion a bill to admit the Chinese to equal 
privileges of citizenship was under discussion in the Senate, and Mr. 
Sumner had the floor. His speech — as usual elaborate, studied, and 
classical — was an earnest appeal for the children of the Flowery 
Kingdom, and at its conclusion it was evident that he had made a 
deep impression. But, as soon as Mr. Sumner had taken his seat, 
Mr. Nye sprang to his feet, and spoke somewhat as follows : 

**Mr. President : I was bom in the grand old county of Steuben, New York 
State, and raised iix>on a farm. My parents were hard-working, Qod-fearing 
people, and we had morning and evening prayers in which appeals were always 
offered for the freedom of the slaves. My good mother — green be her memory — 
was a careful housewife, and among other standard delicacies doughnuts were 



230 POLITICAL LEADEBS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 

always provided. We all loved doughnuts, and I often watched my mother 
when she made the dough, and kneaded and shortened it until it was in fit con- 
dition. The result of my observation was that she always took a small piece of 
dough and fried it in the fat before she risked the whole batch. She tried it 
first, and awaited results. I live on the Pacific coast and know a good deal about 
the Chinese. They have nothing in common with us. They save their money, 
and then return, pigtail and all, to China. You cannot make a citizen of a man 
who will not sacrifice his pigtail I We have enfranchised the blacks—they are 
now free and citizens, and I am content. My friend from Massachusetts has 
made an able and exhaustive argument, but I suggest to him that it is far better 
and safer to follow my good mother's example, and fry a little piece of this 
suffrage dough before we risk the whole Chinese batch." 

The effect of this speech was marvellous. Mr. Sumner seldom had 
a ready appreciation of humor, but on this occasion he leaned back 
in his chair and laughed until the tears ran down his cheeks. He 
did not attempt to reply, and the bill failed through the homespun 
argument adduced by Senator Nye. 

Among other notable Senators of the Beconstruction period were 
Justin S. Morrill, of Vermont, counted a sound and safe authority 
on all questions of revenue and finance; William Windom, of Minne- 
sota, a genial, modest, retiring man, who came to the Senate in 1870, 
after having served several terms in the House, and left it in 1880 to 
enter the Cabinet of President Garfield; George H. Williams, of 
Oregon, an admirable type of the men representing the West in the 
Senate, of impressive personal appearance, and a forceful though not 
ready or entertaining speaker; William Sprague, of Bhode Island, 
whose brilliant early promise had melancholy fruition in later years ; 
and Henry B. Anthony, also of Bhode Island, — but of none do I 
retain more pleasing recollections than of the Senator last named. 
Mr. Anthony was a quiet, scholarly man whose voice was seldom heard 
on the floor, but who exerted great influence in the partisan affairs 
of the Senate. Moderate in his own views, and always considerate 
of those of others, he was beloved by his friends and commanded the 
profound respect of all. Mr. Anthony was elected to the Senate in 
1859, and four times re-elected, his period of consecutive service in 
the body, with the single exception of Thomas H. Benton, being 
longer than that of any other man in our history. 

The House during the Beconstruction period contained not less than 
a score of men of tried and preeminent ability, but among the Bepub- 
lican leaders the seven gentlemen selected to manage, on behalf of 
the House, the impeachment of Mr. Johnson before the Senate, 
claimed for a time the largest share of public attention. Of these, 



POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 231 

Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts, was really the leader and the 
most conspicuous in the prosecution, and it would be difficult to 
fittingly characterize the ferocity and unfairness, in determination to 
convict at all hazards, shown by him from the beginning to the end 
of the trial. He opened ihe case vrith what amounted to a declara- 
tion that the fullest latitude in the examination of witnesses should 
be had, but, immediately upon* the beginning of the examination of 
witnesses for the defence, objected to almost everything offered that 
would tend to relieve the President of the offences charged. The 
most abandoned criminal ever before a court of justice was never 
pursued more relentlessly or viciously than was the President by Mr. 
Butler. He possessed ability that fell little short of genius, but 
selfishness, unscrupulousness, malevolence, insolent arrogance, and a 
consuming egotism marked his career from first to last. Some may 
accuse me of personal prejudice in this estimate, but I am sure that it 
will be the sober verdict of history on his life and character. 

In the selection, by the House, of the managers of the impeachment, 
a large number of candidates was nominated, and it was resolved that 
the seven having the highest vote therefor should be selected. John 
A. Bingham, of Ohio, received the most votes, and was therefore 
named as the head of the board. Mr. Bingham had served for many 
years in the House, and had reached a position of great infiuence. 
He was a member of the committee of thirteen on Reconstruction, 
which, with Thaddeus Stevens at its head, ruled the House with an 
iron hand, being not inaptly called by the Democratic members the 
"Central Directory." He was a well-equipped lawyer, and as a 
fluent and effective debater had no superior in the House. 

George S. Boutwell was the second member of the board of 
managers. He had been governor of his State, and was a scholarly 
man and a strong debater, but of extreme views and lacking in the 
liberality and breadth of thought essential to judicious legislation. 

James F. Wilson, of Iowa, was the third on the roll, and a con- 
spicuous figure in the House during the Beconstruction period. He 
at first supported the Ashley impeachment enterprise of 1867, but, 
discovering that it had no basis, abandoned it, and it was largely 
due to his personal influence that it was killed in the House. How- 
ever, in 1868, he espoused the impeachment project of that year and 
was more or less active in its prosecution down to its defeat in the 
Senate. Mr. Wilson voluntarily retired from the House in 1869, and 
thereafter was offered three Cabinet positions, each of which he de- 



232 POT.nJCAL LEADERS OF THE RECX)NSTRUCnON PERIOD. 

clined, but entered the Senate in 1883 and served in that body until 
a short time before his death in the present year. He was a profound 
lawyer, a vigorous speaker, and a man of great force of character. 

John A. Logan, of Illinois, was the fourth in order of selection of 
the board of managers. Though originally an active and influential 
Democrat, he had been a gallant soldier during the war, and came 
into the Congress of the Reconstruction era a virulent and aggressive 
Republican. Bigoted, hot-headed, and imperious, he was sadly 
lacking in the capacity for leadership, and, especially in the trial of 
the impeachment, soon found himself at the rear instead of the front. 
His subsequent career in the House and Senate was in no way a nota- 
ble one, and his fame will rest mainly on his military achievements. 

Thomas F. Williams, of Pennsylvania, was the fifth, and Thaddeus 
Stevens, of the same State, the seventh, member of the board of 
managers. The last named, though foremost in the an ti -slavery 
cause in his earlier years, had at the close of the impeachment 
crusade reached an age and a condition of physical decadence that 
rendered him ineffective in its active prosecution as well as in the pro- 
ceedings of the House. He had outlived his usefulness as a legislator. 

Prominent among the other Republican members of the House 
during the Reconstruction period were Samuel Shellabarger and James 
A. Garfield, of Ohio; William D. Kelley, of Pennsylvania; Charles 
H. Van Wyck, of New York; Henry L. Dawes, of Massachusetts; 
Elihu B. Washburn, of Illinois; and James G. Blaine, of Maine. 
Mr. Shellabarger was one of the most logical and convincing debaters 
in the House, remarkable for his fairness and unfailing consideration 
for others. Mr. Garfield was then still under forty, but had already 
given evidence of the mental activity and the restless ambition 
which distinguished his career. My personal acquaintance with him 
was slight, but there was in his face a vein of insincerity repulsive to 
close students of physiognomy, and which, perhaps, furnished a key 
to many of the tragic and much -discussed passages in his life. Mr. 
Kelley, who began his public career as a Democrat and Free-Trader, 
and ended it a Republican and a radical Protectionist, was an able 
debater and a stubborn disputant. Mr. Van Wyck served several 
terms in the House, and then, removing to Nebraska, represented 
that State for a single term in the Senate. Able, aggressive, often 
brilliant, and, best of all, clean-handed and honest, his was a strik- 
ing and unique personality. Mr. Dawes entered the House in 1856 
and served therein until 1874, when he succeeded Mr. Sumner in the 



POLITICAL TiRADERS OF THE RECX)NSTRUCnON PERIOD. 233 

Senate. He remained a member of the latter body until 1892. A 
kindly, scholarly man, during his long Congressional career he ex- 
erted a potent and on the whole beneficial influence on the legislation 
of the time. Mr. Washburn was the eldest of four brothers repre- 
senting as many different States in the House during the period of 
Reconstruction. All were men of shrewdness and unusual capacity 
for public affairs, but the elder was perhaps the ablest, and his ser- 
vices in the House, during and after the war, were of exceptional 
value. 

Mr. Blaine was then fast forging to the partisan leadership which 
he secured and held for more than twenty years. No one can deny 
that he was an extraordinary man, or fail to recognize as almost un- 
paralleled the popularity and influence that fell to his lot. In nearly 
all respects he was a consummate master of political strategy and 
tactics, while his magnetic temperament and the charm of his presence 
gave him a multitude of ardent personal friends and devoted political 
admirers. Nevertheless, my personal recollections of Mr. Blaine 
are not of the most pleasant character. During the progress of the 
impeachment trial he seemed to be disposed to conservatism, but at 
its close proved relentlessly bitter toward those who had caused its 
defeat. It had been my duty to present to the President all bills 
last passed and last acted upon by the Senate. During the pend- 
ency of the impeachment all bills coming to me for presentation to 
the President were, for obvious reasons, retained until the end 
of the trial. At its close I gathered these together and carried them 
to the White House. In the street car which I boarded were Mr. 
Blaine and one or two other members of the House. As I left the 
car at the Executive Mansion Mr. Blaine remarked to his com- 
panions : " There goes the scoundrel to get his pay. " We never 
spoke again. In the second edition of his " Twenty Years of Con- 
gress," however, he made partial amends for the remark I have 
quoted, and one of the gentlemen to whom it was addressed took 
occasion in after years profoundly and profusely to apologize to me 
for Mr. Blaine's hasty and ill-bred utterance. 

The admitted leaders of the Democratic minority in the House 
during this period were Samuel J. Eandall, of Pennsylvania; James 
B. Beck, of Kentucky; and Samuel S. Cox, of New York. No man 
ever deserved better of his country, or served it more honestly and 
faithfully, than did Mr. Randall. Always a Democrat, he was dur- 
ing the war a bold and consistent advocate of the Union cause, 



234 POLITICAL LEADERS OF THE RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD. 

stoutly sustaining the Government in every measure for the sup- 
pression of the rebellion; and in the revolutionary times that fol- 
lo'wed, his majestic courage and splendid parliamentary skill were 
always found upholding the highest and broadest ideals of patri- 
otic duty. Eesolute, modest, and free from vanity and selfish- 
ness, no breath of suspicion was ever blown upon his character. In 
an era of almost universal corruption he lived and died a poor man. 
Mr. Beck was a stalwart, broad-shouldered, plain-speaking Scotch- 
man, like Mr. Randall far-sighted and incorruptibly honest, who 
quickly rose to leadership both in the House and Senate, to which 
latter body he was promoted in 1876. Mr. Cox, the last of this 
great Democratic trio, was one of the most lovable and genial men I 
have ever known. His speeches often abounded with sallies of wit, 
but there was never malice in his fun, and beneath it all there was 
ever a broad basis of sterling and saving common sense. 

The roll of the Congress of the Reconstruction period is rapidly 
diminishing, and the men upon whom fell the responsibility of re- 
establishing the Union are fast passing from earth. More than half 
the members of the House are dead. There were fifty-four Senators 
voting at the Johnson trial. Of these thirty -three are dead, and 
soon, in the course of nature, all will have gone. They passed 
through and lived in the most stirring and critical chapter in 
American history. They faced the most threatening, and, in a 
political sense, most eventful era of their coimtry and their time. 
They had witnessed, and many of them had been participants in, the 
greatest contest of arms in modem times. In the hour of the im* 
peachment trial they faced a national danger far more threatening, 
because more insidious, than was ever the war in its darkest days. 
The rebellion was carried on in the open, and all could see and realize 
its force, its danger, and its trend; but on this occasion there was a 
foe the people did not detect or comprehend. It was hidden from 
the gaze of the masses intent on the deposition of a President. That 
danger lay in the exaltation of the legislative branch to supreme 
control, and the declension of the executive department through the 
removal of Mr. Johnson on a purely partisan accusation ; the destruc- 
tion of the essential quality of coordination in the several branches 
of the Government, and the future undisputed rule of a Congressional 
cabal. Had it not been averted, the end of our federative system 
would have been inaugurated, and the last days of the great Republic 
would have begun. Edmund G. Ross. 



THE ACTOE, THE MANAGEE, AND THE PUBLIC. 

An experience of more than fifteen years in the calling of an 
actor has given me opportunities to note the causes which have led to 
the present deplorable condition of the stage. A habit of referring 
things to the operation of an over-swaying intelligence has made me 
confident that the time is not far off when the good sense of a gen- 
erous public opinion will demand and effect a revival of pure drama, 
which will be as complete as any yet accomplished by Americans in 
art, politics, or social economy. If we have left to the last the es- 
tablishment of a distinctively good title to a national leadership in 
the drama, it is chiefly because the past century has claimed from us 
more attention to political and social preeminence than to the ad- 
vancement of a general taste in art. It is time, however, that we 
began to look to the condition and influence of our stage. We have 
contributed moat generously to the support of this institution in 
the past; we have produced great actors and generously endowed 
them with fortunes ; we have given to the world some excellent ex- 
amples of dramatic workmanship. It is not very long since we en- 
joyed the reputation of holding within our confines some of the best 
actors who spoke the English tongue ; but as, in this latter end of the 
nineteenth century, events follow upon each other rapidly, so, all at 
once, the stage of the United States has lost its boasted and brilliant 
ornaments, and with some few shining exceptions the genius which 
brilliantly illuminated the days of our fathers has refused to enlighten 
those who aspire to take the places of the departed shadows. 

The first notable thing about the stage is that it is made an occa- 
sion for poverty. Within the past two years the actors of the United 
States have been in general and sore need. It is estimated that 
during the season of 1893-94 more than ten thousand persons, who 
had for a number of years been earning a living by means of act- 
ing, were out of employment and in sore straits. Movements were 
instituted and carried out in some of the larger cities, by which the 
public was induced to contribute alms for their relief. Although 
we hear little to-day about this state of affairs, it is none the less true 



%d% THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 

that the approaching season of 1895-96 does not bid fair to be an 
improvement upon those which have immediately preceded it. The 
number of persons that have been left out of employment may be 
estimated at fully one-half of those really entitled to call themselves 
actors. Some of these people, driven by necessity, find refuge in 
other callings, and strive to earn a living by taking up whatever work 
may come to hand. Among those who are thus compelled to relin- 
quish the work of the stage, there may be found many men and 
women who for the past quarter of a century have been entitled to 
rank as leaders in the dramatic world. 

It is related that during this time of stress a member of a dra- 
matic organization protested to the manager, who had proposed a re- 
duction of salaries, that the contemplated reduction would leave him 
with such a meagre income that it would be impossible for him to 
provide the ordinary necessities of life. To the manager's answer, 
" That's none of my business," the actor replied, " But I must live." 
To this the business-like gentleman responded with the well-worn 
pseudo- witticism, " Not necessarily." 

The actor spoke the truth. He must live, and, more than that, 
he will live in spite of the will or opinion of managers. Managers, as 
such, are not necessarily an evil, nor are they always impediments to 
the proper prosecution of dramatic work. But when the work of the 
actor begins, the manager becomes merely an attendant upon the 
business concerns of the theatre. Unlike most other occupations in 
which men engage, that of the actor affords no possible opportunity 
for a middle man or representative. I know that it is a matter of 
frequent remark that actors are not good business men, and that 
therefore the affairs of the drama must be allowed to remain in the 
hands of purely commercial-minded persons. This is one of the fal- 
lacies so often reiterated that we are wearied into letting it pass 
in order to be rid of it. So long as the business representative of 
the drama confines himself to the work of arranging for the per- 
formances and taking care of their financial results, all goes well ; 
but unfortunately it is too much their habit to usurp the proper 
functions of the actor. They strive to do this by proclaiming in 
advance how good and convincing the play and its performance 
should be, and, after the performance, sowing broadcast, through the 
many avenues of public advertisement afforded by the press, the 
utmost laudation of the play without regard to the manner in 
which the audience had expressed itself. So it has frequently hap- 



THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 237 

pened that plays put forward without proper consideration of their 
merits, and which, when presented, have been coldly received or posi- 
tively condemned, have been so belauded by theatrical press agen- 
cies that other audiences have been deluded into wasting time and 
money by attending subsequent performances thereof. In numerous 
instances the wide-extending communities of the United States have 
been treated to this sort of " confidence game, " and the " show busi- 
ness" has been made profitable much upon the same plan that attends 
many other devices for obtaining an income by representing a worth- 
less commodity as valuable. The cause of this evil lies not in the 
fault of one only of the three parties concerned, but, like most evils in 
the world, it lies in a communion of faults or failings. The actor, 
I know, is apt to blame others for what he fancies to be injury to 
his calling, and it is equally true that the public is apt to put the 
blame for the decadence of dramatic art upon the actor. Both at in- 
tervals unite in laying upon the shoulders of the manager the entire 
responsibility for the unhappy condition of afiEairs. Let us take an 
unimpassioned look at this really serious matter. 

Some years ago there existed in different prominent cities of the 
United States companies of players known as " stock" actors. This 
term is now generally tortured, in theatrical advertisements, from its 
proper meaning. Persons were known as " stock actors" because 
they were experienced in playing certain parts, and thus, being 
possessed of a " stock" of such parts, they were engaged as members 
of the " stock company" in order that any of the standard plays might 
be presented upon the shortest notice with the least expenditure of 
trouble. The individual members of a playing company in that time 
had an opportunity to acquire a knowledge of each other, and of each 
other's habits of thought and action, which to the actor is of as 
much importance as the lines and business of his part. They had 
also the opportunity of becoming acquainted with their public, and 
their pubUc was afforded a like opportunity of becoming acquainted 
with them, — elementary considerations of the greatest importance in 
the performance of a dramatic production. Given a good company, 
the public to which they appealed for patronage was sure of a good 
performance. Whether a company was able to present a new play or 
not was not a matter of concern in those good old days. If there 
were a new play to be done, so much the better; if not, the old stock 
company had not lost the power of pleasing. Those were days of 
slow coaches, of small communities, and long waiting for news and 



238 THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 

gossip of the outside world. When the steamship, the electric wire, 
and the daily newspaper b^an to draw the ends of the earth more 
closely together, facility of travel had its effect upon the stock com- 
pany of actors as well as upon other communities. Actors began to 
travel from place to place, at first in small circuits, from a natural 
and commendable desire to increase their usefulness as well as their 
financial receipts. The theatre-going public encouraged this action 
from a similarly natural desire to see new faces and witness different 
renditions of its favorite dramas ; and as improvement went on in 
means of transportation and the dissemination of intelligence, so the 
fame of particular players became more widespread and afforded an 
opportunity for the increase of that class of players known as " stars. " 
When the only means of travel from city to city was the public or 
private coach, actors, from purely economical reasons, hesitated to 
place themselves before the world in the attitude of stars, no matter 
how great might be their reputations. But when it became possible 
to extend a local reputation to half-a-dozen of the principal cities of 
the country, the actor was not to blame for taking advantage of his 
opportunity. But the result, so far as the existence of the stock com- 
pany was concerned, was that no sooner had a particular actor gained 
a considerable reputation than he began to look for means to place 
himself in the rank of stars, and by these defections the managers of 
stock companies found themselves every year more and more impeded 
in their purpose of keeping up a high standard of artistic work. 

It was at this time, and in consequence of this state of affairs, 
that the speculating manager came into existence. The standard 
theatres of our country had been under the direction of men identi- 
fied with dramatic art either as actors or as persons who had engaged 
in the occupation of manager out of a laudable and exemplary dispo- 
sition to encourage and uphold the drama as an art. Many of them 
found their way into the government of a theatre from other artistic 
occupations, and as a class they were conservative. However, when 
our actors began to seek opportunities to shine before the world in 
individual capacities, they naturally sought the assistance of active- 
minded and energetic individuals who would devote themselves to 
the task of preparing the way, and of making smooth the financial or 
business difiiculties which might attend progress in the new orbit. 
The gentlemen of this class, first employed as salaried servants, ulti- 
mately became partners individually entitled to a greater or less per- 
centage of the earnings of their star, and the humble designation of 



THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 239 

" agent'' was exchanged for the title of " manager. " In the early 
periods of the change it was only the star and his agent who 
travelled from city to city, and in each place they found resident 
companies qualified to give support in all well-known plays ; but in 
the course of time some of the principal stars became dissatisfied with 
the support which they received, and ventured upon the experiment 
of engaging and carrying with them other actors upon whom they 
could rely for the performance of the important characters in their 
plays. The only places left for the stock company to fill were the 
minor and unimportant ones. This example was followed by other 
and less influential stars, and so another element of dissatisfaction 
grew up among the actors who were left to support the dignity of the 
stock companies. Wider and wider grew the general desire to obtain 
admission to the now considerably extended group of stars. The old 
conservative managers found themselves deserted, year after year, by 
their actors, and the difficulty of replacing them with thoroughly re- 
liable people was demonstrated by many unfortunate experiments and 
the growing dissatisfaction of hitherto faithful patrons. 

One day a daring innovator concluded to try the experiment of 
organizing and taking about the country an entire company of players 
to present a particular play. The public, which had now become 
weary of the depreciated performances of the stock companies, eagerly 
welcomed this new and, to it, delightful departure. The " com- 
bination system," as this new method of organization came to be 
called, was a great success and met with instantaneous and sub- 
stantial encouragement. Theatres which had been hitherto occupied 
by stock companies were opened to the combinations. The resident 
company, if there were one, was sent away for the time being, in order 
to make room for the newer organization. The manager of the theatre 
recognized that his best advantage from a business point of view lay 
in dispensing entirely with a stock organization as soon as he found 
that he could place combinations successively upon his stage and 
keep his theatre occupied for the regular season. One after another 
all the theatres thus became combination houses. The old order re- 
mained in vogue only in three or four instances in metropolitan cities. 

Next came the most distinctively dangerous novelty which 
afflicted the life of the drama. The stock of plays known as the 
^ standard drama" did not afford sufficient material for the growing 
influence of the combination. It was well enough for actors who 
had made a reputation in particular parts or in particular plays, but 



240 THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER. AND THE PUBLIC. 

the Dew aspirant found it easier to rise to fame and fortune in the 
wake of a new play. So for a number of years it has been the fash- 
ion for every aspiring actor to seek some novel dramatic idea upon 
whose reputation he might easily ascend to the stellar spaces. " The 
play's the thing!" — ^became the rallying cry of the dramatic enthu- 
siasts. All kinds of plays were produced with varying degrees 
of success. The French, German, Italian, and Spanish fields lay 
invitingly open for translation and adaptation, and were industri- 
ously harvested. The hosts of playwrights, numerous at all times, 
were inordinately increased by the innovation. Time was when it 
seemed important that a writer, in order to qualify himself for dra- 
matic invention, should have some practical knowledge of stage work. 
It might once have been supposed that actors such as Shakespeare, 
Moli^re, Garrick, Gibber, Macklin, and Sheridan Elnowles were more 
likely than other men to produce the best inventions for play -mak- 
ing, but such notions could be regarded only as the prejudices of 
non-progressive minds. It seemed for some time as if the world were 
full of plays. Everybody was making one or more. It once af- 
forded me much edification to note the pleasure with which a very 
worthy and esteemed friend, who occupied the position of dramatic 
critic on an influential daily paper, informed me that one of hia plays 
had been accepted and paid for by a prominent manager whose com- 
pany was then playing in the city. My good friend would have most 
indignantly resented any imputation that his view of the acting of 
the company about which he wrote a column every day could be 
afiected by so vile a means as the offer of indirect bribery, — but the 
play which he sold to the manager was never produced. 

As the number of attempts at dramatic work increased, it became 
more difficult to determine the good from the bad. The manager and 
the actor ultimately shifted the responsibility for this judgment to the 
public, which has now for a long period patiently borne the odium 
for much nonsense that goes by the name of " play. " Startling and 
fascinating announcements, fashioned with the utmost art of the lith- 
ographer and printer, are relied upon to strengthen or supplant any 
lukewarm or indifferent verdict given by the public jury. And so 
the hurly-burly has gone on until sensible people have grown very 
weary of the impertinent and constantly repeated efforts to make 
them responsible upholders of the " show business. " A vast and dis- 
proportionate army of theatrical managers — men whose darling desire 
it is to see their names in two-by-four letters, and their faces in five 



THE ACTOR. THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 241 

colors, on the advertising boards — has sprung up by the opportunity 
thus afforded for the exercise of the art of getting something for 
nothing. By imperceptible degrees the position of the actor has 
been entirely changed. Once he was a person who possessed a cer- 
tain power and was entitled to a certain consideration. He knew 
how to act and what was necessary toward the making of a good play. 
His opinion was deferred to and his judgment sought. The com- 
mercial prosperity of the old-time " agent" has, however, made that 
member arrogant in these regards, and he now no longer defers to the 
experience of the man who plays. The latter must conform his con- 
duct to the direction of the box-office man, and much and great is the 
dissatisfaction resulting from this reversal of functions. Not the 
least important of the dissatisfied parties is the public. It sees, 
without knowing why, that there is something wrong with both actor 
and play, and it naturally blames the actor. He is the one respon- 
sible to it. No agent can represent the actor in his work. If the 
actor is blameworthy for helping to break down the rational organiza- 
tion of the theatre, the manager is equally so for thrusting himself into 
the actor^s place and presuming to dictate how and what plays shall 
be performed. Does it not always happen that the pleasing power of 
any given play or set of plays is referred solely to the actors, and do 
they not eventually become the actual controllers of the theatre, no 
matter how assiduously the agent of their work tries to keep his 
name in print as the head of " my theatre" or of " my company"? 

But has the public borne no share in the disintegration of safe 
and healthy tissue in the body of dramatic taste? Were it not for the 
encouragement to that end, found in the disposition of men to desert 
old friends for the excitement of seeing strange faces and hearing 
unfamiliar voices, the social preeminence of tried and reliable stock 
companies could never have been affected by disturbing notions of 
change. The faces were not always pleasant to look upon, and the 
voices sometimes caused a longing for more familiar methods of 
speech ; but the reflection that we had seen and heard the actors of 
strange countries imbued us with new pride and a feverish desire to 
have more, but better, of the same kind. Meantime the world, acted 
upon by the new magic of mechanical ingenuity, keeps growing 
smaller, and we realize that strange countries and strange players 
are not better than our own. So we sigh for the good things of the 
past from which we turned in fancied satiety. Yes, theatre-goers 
must bear a share of the blame, as gracefully as may be, for it has 
16 



242 THE AGTOB, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 

rested and still rests with them to keep safe the excellence of our 
dramatic art. Else why have they the privilege of freely expressing 
approval or dislike, and are safeguarded from disturbance in the sal- 
utary expression of the hiss? No actor, director, or policeman dares 
assert his judgment against the sovereign power of a well-timed hiss- 
ing. The good -breeding of Americans seldom permits them to re- 
sort to this effectual method of correcting the evils of the theatre; 
they prefer to stay away from the occasion of offence. A vigorous 
and healthy public opinion, which sturdily insists upon its preroga- 
tive, and in the theatie utters its word of law, is greatly to be com- 
mended. The gentle spirit of toleration (or is it the despicable 
feeling which is described by that perversion of truth, " everybody's 
business is nobody's business") has made room and license for the 
unscrupulous and depraved to flaunt their brazen immoralities in 
the very places made sacred by the memory of Edwin Booth and his 
compeers. 

Even that honorable and potent organ of the public mind, the 
press, is in this regard not blameless. An occasional editorial ap- 
pears, in which the lamentable condition of the public theatre is de- 
plored, but the columns set apart for notices of the drama continue 
to be stuffed out with the sawdust of box-oflSce literature. So long 
as the managerial promoter of inane or erotic suggestions is permitted 
to furnish for publication in daily and influential journals his own 
estimate of the monstrosities of impudence and vice with which he 
degrades the stage, reform in the theatre can have little encourage- 
ment. Let some able and clear-minded editor set a good and sorely 
needed example by requiring that copy furnished by that gad-fly of 
journalism, the theatrical manager's press agent, shall be marked in 
his columns like other advertisements. Then his strong editorials 
upon the decay of dramatic taste will have excellent emphasis. 

The United States is a broad and busy country, and it is well 
supplied with excellent journals. As is natural and unavoidable, 
these generally take their tone in treating dramatic affairs from those 
of the metropolis. What is said and done in New York about plays 
and actors is published all over the Union as quickly as the wire and 
the press can spread the news. Consequently the theatrical business of 
the entire country is managed from New York. That is why actors, 
managers, and the minor personages of stage life flock to New York. 
That is why for many years past it has been possible for the wily 
speculator in rotten dramatic lumber to set up a flimsy stage struc- 



THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 243 

ture, held together only by the adhesive qualities of paint and prin- 
ter's ink, and — ^by keeping a New York liieatre open and empty for 
its exhibition for a stated term of weeks at the expense of three or four 
thousand dollars a week, and by a continual pestering of the good- 
natured journalist — to obtain a sufficient amount of notice of his " great 
New York success !" to enable him to travel through the country with 
his " show, " and gather a rich harvest from those who are eager to see 
what sort of plays please the people of the great city. Of course the 
" show" soon falls to pieces from the weight of its own worthlessness, 
and the seeds of general contempt for New York's good taste in the- 
atrical matters are sown broadcast. But no matter. The enterprising 
speculator, now well in funds, returns to New York and is soon upon 
the full tide of another like venture. Year after year this sort of thing 
goes on. But the people of the East, South, and West are becoming 
wise and weary. The " business" is not so good now as it once was 
in those often-deluded sections. One of the roots of our theatrical 
troubles upon which the axe should fall quickly and sharply is this 
abuse of the press courtesy, — first extended in good nature toward 
the struggling artist, but now demanded as a right by the brass- 
bound " show-boomer. " 

It would weary a very patient reader were I to enumerate one- 
half of the most flagrant evils which have fallen npon the path of 
the actor as a logical consequence of the failure of the old resident 
and regular companies. I may be pardoned for briefly noting one 
which bears a direct relation to the pauperizing effect of the pres- 
ent perversion of the drama. So successfully was the duping of the 
" jay" public outside New, York carried on, that it began to be 
believed that the same result could be effected without the employ- 
ment of experienced actors. So eagerly did the general public crowd 
to see the new play, that the conclusion forced itself upon the active- 
minded money-maker who controlled its performance that it was no 
longer necessaiy to keep an expensive company of players. There 
was a time when good players could not be procured except at a con- 
siderable expense. Now the places once filled with men and women 
who had spent the best years of their lives in the study and practice 
of their calling are often given to tyros who know no more of act- 
ing than can be gathered from the ill-tempered directions of a so- 
<;alled stage-manager, who for a few weeks directs confused and in- 
comprehensible rehearsals of the so-called " play. " The importation 
of these inexperienced people into the dramatic calling, for which 



244 THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 

privilege the deluded wretches are often induced to pay extravagantly 
instead of standing in receipt of salary, gives us more poor actors, — 
for they delight to call themselves such, although, after a year or 
two of unprofitable association with some never-again-to-be-heard-of 
combination, they find themselves replaced by new-fledged learners. 

The actor is the one most to be commiserated in the disgraceful 
result which has attended his abandonment of the true dignity of his 
calling. If he be a star, and has made money, he enjoys neither his 
notoriety nor his fame, for he has become a " part. " Having made 
a reputation and a fortune through the performance of a certain char- 
acter, his future career is tied to the mask of that character. He is 
remembered for it, reminded of it, compared to it, no matter where 
he goes, what he does, or how often he tries to destroy the memory 
of it by trying to assume a new and different part. As a stock actor 
he was praised for his ability effectively to assume a number of dif- 
ferent and dissimilar parts. Why can he not be so now? Ah! that 
was when he came before a contented company of good friends, who 
were gratified to see him every night for months. He had a home. 
He enjoyed domestic happiness. He was even an active and inter- 
ested citizen. It is not so now. He must go before a new public 
every week. At most he can stay only a few weeks at a time, and then 
only when he has anew play. He lives in hotels and railroad trains; 
he is separated from his family; he is disfranchised and outlawed. 

If the actor be a mere wandering asteroid, an inconsiderable speck 
from the broken planet of a once regularly moving theatre, and work- 
ing for a salary, woe worth him! Added to the inevitable discom- 
forts of constant travel, he is ever haunted by the fear that he may 
not get an engagement for next season. A few years ago he might 
have enjoyed content when this desired result was effected, but now 
he is still further steeped in the hell of uncertainty by the fact that 
all except the indispensable first lady and gentleman of a company 
are obliged to agree that their contracts may be cancelled by either 
party thereto upon the serving in writing of a two weeks' notice. 
If an actor is perchance engaged, upon some sudden emergency, 
without this formality, as by telegram or hurried verbal agreement, 
let him not be sure of his position. He may be summarily replaced 
two thousand miles from home, and left among strangers with the 
jeering remark that he may seek his remedy at law. I have been 
treated to that experience in the course of my practical study of the 
drama. It is not pleasant, and it is very expensive. 



THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 245 

Those "wbo have taken from the actor the right to control the des- 
tinies of the theatre will find the task too great for their little wits. 
Their point of view is too small. They see and hear the public only 
through the archway of their box-office window, while the actor steps 
out face to face and voice to voice with his public, beneath the broad 
sweep of the proscenium. Managers boast of their great astute- 
ness. To what a condition have they brought the American stage ! 
They have striven for and worn the honors of leadership, yet they can- 
not shelter themselves from the odium of the result by throwing the 
whole burden of blame upon a long-sufiering and patient public with 
the hackneyed absurdity — "We gave the public what it wanted." 
Their case is being considered in the jury-room of good citizens, and 
there will be no appeal from the verdict when once it is rendered. 
It is the privilege of the American people to have a clean stage, and 
some day they will sweep the rubbish from it. The wonder then 
will be, as it is now with regard to certain other reformed abuses: 
"How could this shame have been allowed to live so long?" The 
seeds of corruption grow very fast. Every succeeding theatrical 
season develops a new weakness in the decaying edifice which shelters 
the usurping pretenders of the drama. At any moment it may come 
down " by the run. " 

The reestablishment of the stock company will be the natural 
and only remedy for these evils. The employment of skilled actors 
qualified to make plays, and their fixed establishment under the 
direction of an actor-manager, is the only means by which a good 
theatre can be assured. Such a company, fully qualified to play any 
of the standard plays before the most exacting audience, could be 
organized for every city in the Union from the unemployed but ex- 
perienced and able actors who are vainly seeking work to-day. With 
them the new play would be perfectly safe. In spite of the oft-re- 
peated taunt that " the actor is the worst judge of a play," my obser- 
vation has been that wherever the judgment of a cool-headed actor 
(and from such I must set apart the one who nurses a starring-bee 
in his bonnet) is invoked, he seldom fails to justify absolute confi- 
dence in his ability to determine what should be, from what should 
not be, in a play. 

Once let us get to the understanding that all actors cannot be 
stars, and the way toward the restoration of the drama will begin to 
clear. I think I can see promise of this result in the future. There 
is no great glory in being a star of the limited magnitude to which 



246 THE ACTOR, THE MANAGER, AND THE PUBLIC. 

the one-play actor soon slirinks. The effort to reach that doubtful 
honor grows more futile every year. By the time an opportunity is 
made for the setting up of a safe and reliable stock company, good 
actors will be satisfied to remain in association with a just manager 
of their own order, and work earnestly for the production of good 
plays. The public will turn with delight to the refreshing influence 
of the honest, world-old, heart-touching play, wherein virtue is ap- 
plauded and vice condemned in good set terms. The manager will, 
^I am sure, be glad to get back to his natural position of actor's 
assistant, and to be rid of the rashly assumed and ill -carried respon- 
sibility which has so disturbed his rest and health and whitened his 
few remaining hairs. 

All sorts of suggestions have been made for the amelioration of 
the drama in this country. One unconsciously turns to the system 
of France and Germany, and dreams of a subsidized guild. Noth- 
ing of the sort could ever be set up in the United States. A system 
of social subvention — the formation of a fund by subscription — ^has 
frequently been tried in England. In fact, since the decay of the 
vogue whereby actors prospered as members of the royal or noble 
households of the realm, such assurances have been generally re- 
lied upon. But while that may be done in a small island where the 
metropolis of London is practically the country, it becomes impos- 
sible in a great country like the United States, unless the organiza- 
tion be of sufficient importance and power to provide for the entire 
country. Such an organization is not unlikely. When one thinks 
of the great fortunes that have been made out of the calling of the 
actor in this country, and of the wide field for effort in the right 
direction from which sure and immediate profit would result, it seems 
strange that no business movement has yet found out the possibilities 

of the actor as an investment. 

John Malone. 



HIGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR 

TEACHERS. 

It is conceded in America, but in a very general way, that one 
of the first duties of parents and citizens is to provide for the proper 
education of the growing children. I say that this concession is 
made only in a very general way, because neither as parents nor as 
citizens do the men and women of America display any really great 
concern as to the education of their children. In sentimental fash- 
ion they will glow over the benefits of education, and the Fourth of 
July orator can always be sure of applause when he declares that that 
land will always be free from whose every hilltop may be seen a 
school-house and a church, — twin sentinels of intelligence and piety. 
But this interest is only superficial except in a few favored localities 
where education has been esteemed at its true worth. In such neigh- 
borhoods the schoolmaster was a personage of consideration, who 
ranked with the clergyman in the social scale and was not far below 
the judge and the Congressman. But such localities are few and far 
between, and the rule now is that even in college towns the professors 
are not looked up to as anything in the least remarkable. And as 
for ordinary school-teachers — they are looked down upon by nearly 
all classes, old and young, and generally thought to be unfortunates 
who have adopted teaching because there was no other way of liveli- 
hood open to them. It is wrong, to be sure, that school-teachers 
should be held in such social and industrial disesteem ; but at present 
it is not entirely unfair to the great body of teachers of primary 
and grammar schools in the United States, for, generally speaking, 
neither their attainments nor their ideals entitle them to a much 
higher regard. Without training or preparation, without taste, and 
without love for what should be the highest and most sacred call- 
ing for men and for women, they have adopted the profession of 
teaching and hava degraded it to a trade upon which both tradesmen 
and artisans look down. 

But we should not visit our condemnation on the poor teachers 
alone. They have become what they are in obedience to the immu- 



248 HIGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 

table natural law of supply and demand. There was a demand for 
teachers and there was no supply of properly trained teachers, so the 
incompetents secured the places. The fault for this lay with the 
citizens, the taxpayers and their representatives, who have failed to 
see that no one except a specially trained man or woman should ever 
be put in charge of a class-room. These citizens, these school com- 
missioners, these school trustees, have not seen that there was a 
necessity for a higher type of teachers; and so long as petty politicians 
are permitted to monopolize these offices there is little likelihood that 
these officials will see anything more than their own inflated im- 
portance and the opportunities to " put up jobs, " with the aid of 
the publishers of school-books, so as to defraud the public treasury. 
Speaking to a school trustee a few years ago I advanced the opin- 
ion that the public schools in the United States were in a very un- 
satisfactory condition, mainly because the teachers were incompetent, 
or, if competent, because there were not enough of them employed. 
He expressed great astonishment and some indignation. He had 
never met, he said, finer men and women than the school-teachers in 
his ward. They were educated ladies and gentlemen. From his 
standpoint all this was so. But teachers should not be looked at from 
his standpoint. He was an entirely uneducated man, who had made a 
little fortune by keeping a livery-stable. His own success made him 
feel in his heart that learning was somewhat debilitating in its effect 
on manliness, and he was proud to tell that he had passed only a few 
months at school. Now this man in his own ward, in which there 
was a great school with primary and grammar departments, selected 
the teachers, passed upon their fitness, and naturally enough looked 
upon them as most excellent instructors of the young, for there was 
not one among them who was not vastly superior to him in learning 
and accomplishments. He explained to me how admirably his system 
of selecting teachers worked. "There was old Brown," he said, 
" who kept the saloon two comers below. The old man had a heap 
of trouble, and when he died two years and a half ago with the rheu- 
matiz, his place was sold out by the sheriff. But his daughter 
Susie was a mighty likely girl, and had been eddicated right thar 
in my school. So I ups and has her ^pointed first-class assistant. 
Old Brown had stuck by me in all the elections, and I bet you I 
wam't goin' to let his family suffer, long as I had a place I could give 
one on 'em. So I ups and gets this place for Susie, and she done 
fust rate. I give her the promotion, end of this session, and next 



fflGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 249 

year she goes in as principal. Now that's what I call good politics and 
good reform. Keep the best places for your own friends, and save the 
promotions for your neighbors in your own ward. " 

I was so much touched by this moving tale that I asked to be 
introduced to this brilliant teacher. The trustee was only too happy. 
We went at once to the school. Miss Susie was a young woman of 
twenty-five or so, with bleached yellow hair and rouged cheeks, and 
the airs of a fine lady in a stage melodrama. Her accent was atro- 
cious, her voice shrill and sharp. Her manner was devoid of simplicity, 
but evidently impressed the school trustee as of high quality. To 
his compliments on her appearance and her management of her class 
she smiled graciously, but made no pretence of disclaiming every 
merit in sight. While the teacher's attention was thus taken away 
from her class there was a little disturbance in one comer of the 
room. Miss Susie whacked her desk with a ruler and called sharply : 
" Here, Mattie Simmons, what do you mean by such deportment?" 

" I didn't do nothing, ma'am," replied the girl addressed. 

" Didn't do nothing !" called Miss Susie. " Where do you expect 
to go to? I seen you when you done it. We will discuss your de- 
portment when these gentlemen go. " 

The gentlemen went very shortly afterward, and I never learned 
how Mattie Simmons came out of the diiBculty. But the school 
trustee was delighted. "She don't stand no nonsense, do she?" he 
asked. 

It is quite likely that in the city alluded to, a prosperous place of 
the third rank in point of wealth and population, there were not many 
schools managed so badly as this one under the special charge of the 
livery -stable keeper; but the rest could not have been a very great 
deal better, for the reason that the other members of the school board 
were almost as ignorant as this man. I attended one of the meetings 
of the board. The men appeared to be very nearly of the same class 
as New York aldermen, except that they were not so smart in ap- 
pearance, diamond shirt-pins and silk hats not bein^ so essential to the 
dress of the politicians of the smaller places as they are to the people's 
representatives in the great cities. When a member spoke, he usually 
used the language of the streets and showed no regard for the rules 
of grammar. Each man spoke of the patronage to which he was en- 
titled with entire frankness, and it was quite evident that the schools 
in this city were conducted by the board merely to supply places in 
which men and women chosen by the trustees could draw salaries. 



250 HIGHEB PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 

It may be said that it is Dot fair to generalize from one or two 
incidents. It is not; but Dr. Eice's investigations, the results of 
which were printed several years ago in The Forum, show that in 
many of the cities, including the great city of New York, there were 
teachers just as ignorant as Miss Susie Brown. 

The great cause which hinders public education in this country is 
the fact that the people, the citizens, the voters, have no genuine love 
for education and no real appreciation of what learning is. If their 
interest and their appreciation amounted to anything, they would see 
to it that the school trustees and school commissioners were them- 
selves persons of education and cultivation. And any school that 
is conducted by teachers who are uneducated and untrained in the art 
of teaching is likely to do as much harm as good. By laws we pro- 
tect litigants from falling into the hands of pettifoggers who have 
not been admitted and licensed to practise at the bar after a regular 
course of instruction. So, too, we protect sick people from the igno- 
rance of physicians not regularly graduated from a school of medi- 
cine. But our teachers, though after a perfunctory examination they 
acquire a certificate to teach, in six cases out of ten are young women 
with no heart in their work, and who intend to follow the trade only 
until they are invited to marry ; in two other cases they are young 
men who wish to support themselves while studying what they con- 
sider a real profession; in another the teacher is an incompetent; 
while in the remaining case of the stated ten the teacher is likely 
to be a serious person seriously pursuing a life-work because he or 
she is interested in the work and conscious of its high nobility. Here 
we have four classes of teachers where there should be only one. 
And until there is only one the public schools in the United States 
will continue to be what they are to-day, — a reproach to our boasted 
civilization, a refutation of our much- vaunted pride in free education. 

It were idle to speak of these things unless at the same time a 
remedy were suggested. Already it has been affirmed with unhesi- 
tating positiveness that nothing can be done for the betterment of our 
public schools until educated men are put in control of the school 
boards. Without such a reform and unless teaching is made an 
honorable profession, in which distinction might be gained, and 
an easy competence be acquired, we can never expect that it will 
attract the same class of persons as those now drawn to the law, to 
medicine, to engineering, to the pulpit, and to business. In these 
pursuits great rewards are to be gained, great prizes won, — ^wealth, 



HIGHEB PAT AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 251 

fame, and social position. But by teaching, under present conditions, 
poverty is the portion of even the most successful. And as for the 
other things that men think are worth striving for, they are out of 
reach from the beginning. 

Let us look at what can be earned by teachers in some of the 
cities, and compare these sums with what men in other professions- 
and occupations are paid^ for then we shall be able to see that an am- 
bitious man or woman would be repelled by the prospect that opena 
before a teacher, and be attracted by the outlook in other pursuits. 
In New York the largest salary of a principal of a " male or mixed 
grammar school" is $3,000; while to principals of "female gram- 
mar schools" the highest salary is $1,700. The highest sum paid 
to a principal of a primary school (average attendance of 1,001 pupils- 
and upward) is $1,700. The teachers of grammar schools are paid 
from $573 to $1,116 a year; the teachers of primary schools from 
$504 to $900. Thus, in a city where living is dearer than in any 
other place in the world, the compensation ranges from $504 to 
$3,000. It makes no difference how able, how cultivated, how 
astute, how skilful a politician a teacher may be, he has reached the 
limit when he has come to $3,000. Now suppose such a man had 
gone into the law, or into medicine, or into the pulpit, or into busi- 
ness. The same kind of success which brings the teacher $3,000^ 
would bring the lawyer anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 a year, 
and it would also bring him and his family social consideration. A 
similar reward would come to the successful physician. No pulpit in 
New York is considered to be worth having unless the salary is^ 
$5,000 including a parsonage, while some clergymen make great 
fortunes from salaries and gifts. The business mao is not considered 
to have begun to succeed until his income is more than $10,000. But 
the teacher in New York has earned all he can ever earn when the 
$3,000 mark has been reached, and even this may be cut down if for 
any year there are fewer than a certain number of pupils in his school. 

The salaries paid in New York are a very fair average of the sala- 
ries received by teachers in other Eastern cities. The amounts are 
slightly higher in New York but in other places the cost of living is 
so much less that the salaries are actually better than in the me- 
tropolis. But it may be depended on that a $3,000 man in New York 
is a cheap man even though he has reached the top of his profession. 
The average of compensation for teachers is below $1,000 a year, so 
that in compensation a New York school-teacher is not put on a par 



252 fflGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 

with a good bookkeeper, a stenographer with a knowledge of spelling 
and grammar, or with a skilful cook. This, to be sure, is compensa- 
tion enough for the young ladies who would work a little till they 
have a chance to wed ; it is quite enough for the young men who are 
learning other professions and " teaching" ad interim; it is more than 
enough for the unfortunates and incompetents for whom no other 
means of livelihood are open ; but it is not enough for accomplished 
and refined men and women who devote themselves to one of the 
noblest of all callings, and there should be none others as teachers 
in the public schools. The men and women who adopt this calling 
should be made to feel that a great career is open to them, and that 
in success they will achieve the same measure of fame that comes to 
the successful in other walks of life. When this has been done it is 
possible that ambitious young men and women will matriculate in 
schools of pedagogy as they da at present in schools of law, of medi- 
cine, and of theology. There would be plenty of room in the pro- 
fession of teaching, and plenty of opportunity to rise, for in 1890 
there were 341,811 teachers in the public schools of the United 
States, — 96,581 men and 245,230 women. 

The following facts as to salaries paid to teachers in various parts 
of the country for the year 1889-90 (the last year for which a full 
report is available) will give an idea of what teachers in the cities 
receive for their work. In Worcester, Mass., the highest salary 
paid to a male principal in an elementary school was $2,000. The 
highest salary paid to a woman principal was $1,400. In that city 
the lowest salary paid to an assistant was $450, while 124 assistants 
received $500. In Detroit, Mich., the highest salary to a princi- 
pal was $2,000, the lowest to an assistant was $350. Provision is 
however made in Detroit for an assistant to receive greater pay as 
the teacher acquires more experience, so that after nine years of 
service the assistant may receive $725. In Minneapolis, Minn., a 
principal of an elementary school with a grammar grade may, after 
six years of service (presumably in that position), receive $1,300, 
the salary for the first year having been $900, — this for a twelve-room 
building. In Omaha, Neb., a principal after five years* experience 
may receive $1,400 ; other teachers in Omaha receive for the first year 
$400, there being an annual increase of $50 a year till a maximum 
of $700 be reached. In Jersey City, N. J., a man when principal 
of a grammar school receives $1,950, a woman $1,020. The assist- 
ants begin at $360 and their salaries are increased to a maximum of 



HIGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 253 

$624. In Syracuse, N. Y., salaries in elementary schools range 
from $1,600 for a principal (man) to $300 for an assistant (woman). 
In Portland, Ore., the principal of a grammar school with five years 
of service receives $1,800; a novice in the grammar schools there 
receives $600 for the first year and may rise in five years so as, 
while still an assistant, to receive $750. In Springfield, Ohio, a 
principal in an elementary school may receive $1,100; the lowest 
salary paid in that city is $150 for a female assistant in the elemen- 
tary school ; the average for female assistants there, however, appears 
to be about $400 a year. In Providence, E. I. , the principal of a 
grammar school may receive $1,900, while the lowest paid to an 
assistant in a grammar school is $575. In Richmond, Ya., a princi- 
pal of a grammar school receives $1,350 ; a teacher of the third gram- 
mar grade receives $450, while a teacher of the lowest primary grade 
receives $405. In Dallas, Texas, a principal of an elementary school 
receives $1,125; an assistant (female) receives $540. The teacher 
of mathematics in the High School at Charleston, S. C, receives 
$675; the professor of belles lettres is paid $525, while the teacher of 
elocution gets $400. In Memphis, Tenn., a principal of an elemen- 
tary school receives for his first year of service $720. After the 
fourth year his salary is $1,000. Assistants begin on $360, and after 
the fourth year receive $540. And so on throughout the country. 

In the country, whether in the East or West, North or South, 
the compensation to school-teachers is so small that it seems wonderful 
that those who receive these salaries can live on them. These salaries 
range from $100 a year to $900 a year. The average for a school 
year of about seven months is $318.36 for men and $262.92 for 
women. The duties of a country school-teacher usually include 
cleaning the schopl-house and building the fires. These duties are 
not always considered to be hardships by the persons who take such 
posts, as the women in all save exceptional cases have been accus- 
tomed to Such work at home, and the men find it easy enough to get 
pupils to do the work in exchange for favors in school. In the 
country schools of the United Stateg there are three times as many 
women as men, the percentage being a little greater than in the cities. 
Most country schools have only one teacher, and that teacher is 
required to instruct children of all ages and in all branches up to 
grammar and algebra. The amount of either grammar or algebra 
dispensed in these schools is quite inconsiderable, as these are 
branches of knowledge not in demand. For what these country 



254 HIGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 

teachers do, as the schools are at present established, it is likely 
that they are quite adequately paid. A village schoolmaster will 
earn as much as the cobbler; the schoolmistress will make as much 
in the year as the dressmaker. They do not belong, as a general 
thing, to a class better educated than the cobbler or dressmaker, 
and they do not work any harder. Those of them who have thought 
about their calling, and who have ever been moved to feel that 
great responsibilities devolved upon them, have realized that the 
conditions were such that they could do next to nothing, and usu- 
ally they have given over any efforts to secure a change in school 
administration. For instance, here is a case that came directly under 
my observation. In a village school there were two rooms, one on the 
^ound floor and one upstairs. The upstairs room had never been 
finished and plastered, though the school-house was of brick and had 
been built seventy-five years. The schoolmaster was a man of fifty, 
who had lost a leg at Gettysburg and received a pension from the Gov- 
-emment. He had been a teacher in a small city for twenty years and 
came to the village in search of health. He was a manly fellow and 
cultivated quite beyond the average of country schoolmasters. He 
was asked to take the village school at $600. He accepted without 
knowing what he was doing. When the school assembled in Septem- 
ber he found that he had eighty -nine pupils, ranging from nineteen 
years of age to toddlers of six. He was expected to teach this con- 
gregation of ingenuous youth all that each needed to know, the 
branches ranging from the alphabet to surveying and grammar. 
After two weeks, in which he did nothing more than look over the 
field, he got the school committee together and requested that he 
have another teacher, and that the upstairs room be finished so that 
two classes could be heard at once. The school committee asked for 
his immediate resignation, because they were persuaded that his re- 
quest showed laziness and incompetence. In tbe same township there 
is a teacher of twenty -five years* experience. He is generally con- 
sidered a good teacher, and as a citizen commands the respect of his 
neighbors. For the last school year he taught for nine and a half 
months at $50 a month. There appeared to be some hesitation on 
the part of the school committee about re-engaging him, so he offered 
to take the school for the next session at $40 a month and to furnish 
also the necessary fuel. The committee, while acknowledging that 
he had had for years the best school in the township, declined his 
proposition because he was a Bepublican in politics. 



HIGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 255 

The average pupil of the average country school does not even 
learn to write with ease or plainness. In arithmetic such pupils acquire 
enough to solve the simple sums in addition, subtraction, multiplica- 
tion, and division which they meet with in practical life. This in- 
eflSciency of the country school has resulted in what might quite prop- 
erly be called " the American peasantry" being as illiterate and un- 
learned as any class of people in any civilized state in the world. They 
can read and they can write. But they do not understand what they 
read, and, never having been taught how to think, they are the easy 
victims of every bustling demagogue who promises to give them 
something for nothing. The American farmer of two generations 
ago was a better educated man than is the American farmer of to- 
day. No one would ever have thought of calling him a peasant; 
he did not suggest such a thing in his manner of life, poor though it 
was; nor yet in his manner of thinking, though that may have been 
narrow. Let any candid observer go into a neighborhood where the 
land has been tilled by the same family for generations, and let him 
find a farm where there are still three generations upon it. He is 
almost sure to find that those of the oldest generation can speak, write, 
and think with more accuracy than the second generation, and that 
the second generation will show more evidences of education than the 
third. This shows degeneration, and this degeneration can be directly 
traced to the decadence of the country public schools, which now are 
really beneath discussion, were there not a hope that by telling 
of their badness some interest might be excited, and that through this 
interest they might be improved. We do not want an ignorant peas- 
antry in this country — we have no use for peasants. But we are 
getting such a class, both by importation and by breeding. The city 
schools are bad enough in all conscience ; the principle which controls 
their government is both false and corrupt; but they are fountains of 
light compared with the country schools that prevail in the United 
States to-day. In a country school, as at present governed, the more 
a teacher knows, the less is his or her ability to accomplish anything ; 
so those who are wise and politic do as littje as possible, hoping 
thereby to escape the hostile judgment of ignorant school committee- 
men. In a country district the clergymen, the physicians, and the 
lawyers should be asked to serve on the school committee, for men of 
these professions presumably have some education. But the noisy 
and disputatious village busybodies are usually those chosen. There 
is no use in refusing to look facts squarely in the face ; and the fact 



256 HIGHER PAY AND A BETTER TRAINING FOR TEACHERS. 

that country people — agricultural people — are growing more ignorant 
generation by generation is so patent that instances need not be re- 
cited to prove it. The mere spending of more money on country 
schools will not effect any reform. The States, for a while at least, 
must take the schools in rural districts under control. 

The school-teachers in other lands than this occupy positions in 
marked contrast to those held by their colleagues in the United 
States. They do not receive marvellously liberal salaries, but where 
living is cheaper than it is here the same amount of money goes much 
farther than with us. Their social position, however, in England, 
France, and Germany is infinitely superior to that of American teach- 
ers. Mr. Gladstone in England did not hesitate to marry his daughter 
to the master of a school. Why should he? The master of a public 
school in England is as good a gentleman, if he happen to be a gen- 
tleman, as the next man, let him be who he may. His occupation is 
nothing against him. Here it is. To be a teacher is presumptive 
evidence of lack of force, of deficiency of mental initiative. School- 
teachers should be considered the elect of the land, and they will 
be so considered when they are selected from that class which is 
the best in every community. The school-teacher should be a leader 
in the social life and an adviser in the political life of every neighbor- 
hood, because the position is the most important public local office 
held in any community. To him or to her we depute the payment 
of the largest share of our debt to our offspring and to posterity. 
The teachers, therefore, should be men and women of better training 
and more liberal cultivation, and in order to get such teachers we 
should, through educated school trustees and school commissioners, 
offer higher salaries and a more secure tenure of office. Then, when 
our children go to school to educated ladies and gentlemen, to men 
and women trained in the art and science of teaching, we will 
accord to those teachers the position they should always have held, — 
the position of honorable precedence over all the trades and an 
equality with the other learned professions. 

Jno. Gilmer Speed. 



Note.— In 1886 the average salary of teachers in Prussia was |267.56; in 
New York State, including the cities, f409.27. In Prussia, however, the teacher 
received dwelling, fuel, and light free. Teachers in Prussia are pensioned by 
the state. In France, in 1889, male and female teachers, not holding certificates 
of capacity for professorship, received salaries respectively of |400 and $860. 
They also received lodgings, or an allowance for lodgings. 



TheP^rum 



NOVEMBER, 1895. 



THE THIED-TEEM TEADITION. 

The framers of the Constitution of the United States never for a 
moment supposed that their work could remain unchanged for all time 
to coma That new conditions which they could not then foresee 
would arise, and would have to be met by remedies they could not 
possibly devise, was as well known to them as the fact that such con- 
ditions have arisen is known to us. They provided, therefore, that the 
Constitution may be amended in either of two ways. One of these 
ways has never yet been used The other has been used so sparingly 
that although many hundreds of amendments have been offered in 
Congress, but nineteen have ever been sent to the States. 

That so many have been offered and so few been chosen is because 
some were trivial, because some were intended to cure ills that were 
but temporary and soon passed away, and because there has gradually 
been formed an unwritten constitution which in great measure does 
away with the need of amendmenta 

This unwritten constitution is made up of decisions of the Supreme 
Court, which are regarded as final ; of customs and usages which ex- 
perience has shown to be good and useful ; and of certain interpreta- 
tions and constructions of the written Constitution by the peopla In 
the Constitution, for instance, we read that the President " may require 
the opinion, in writing, of the principal ofl&cer in each of the executive 
departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective 
offices." It is by no means obligatory on him to do so. The language 
is "he may," — ^not "he must" Yet upon this slender authority has 

Copyrii^C, 1894, by the Forum Publishing Company. 

17 



258 Tttfi THIRD-TEIIM TRADITION. 

been founded a council utterly unknown to the Constitution. The 
first President b^an the custom of never adopting any policy, never 
taking any important step, till he had gathered about him for consulta- 
tion his Attorney-General and his Secretaries of State, Treasury, and 
War. Every succeeding President has followed his example till the 
Cabinet — ^a piece of political machinery the Constitution did not create, 
nor its framers contemplate — ^has come to be looked upon as a prime 
necessity in our system of federal government On no part again, of 
the Constitution, did the Convention spend more pains than on the sec- 
tions which define the manner of electing a President Some members 
were for having him chosen by the governors of the States ; some by 
Congress; some by lot; some wanted an Executive of three men, — one 
from the Eastern, one from the Middle, and one from the Southern States. 
All were agreed that the choice should not be left to the people, — ^to do 
which, as one member of the Convention expressed it, would be as foolish 
as to leave the selection of colors to a blind man. At length they adopted 
the method of choosing by electors, and, taking the system by which 
Maryland chose her State senators, modelled after it the Electoral Col- 
leges of the States. Their plain intention was that the Presidential electors 
should do two things, — select a suitable man to be President, and then 
elect him to the office. The people were to have no direct part in 
the matter. But our Constitution was not very old when the need of 
unity of action among the electors of the same party became appiurent, 
and Presidential candidates began to be nominated first by the Con- 
gressional Caucus, then by State legislatures, and at last by the Na- 
tional Nominating Convention. As every elector is expected to give 
his vote for the nominee of his party, the Electoral Colleges are prac- 
tically stripped of all power in the election of a President, are reduced 
to mere boards for registering and formally transmitting the result of 
the popular vote, and a highly important provision of the written Con- 
stitution is reversed and nullified by a custom which forms a part of 
the unwritten constitution. 

Much the same thing has taken place with regard to the President's 
term of offica Every phase of that question, from the expediency of a 
short term with re-election, to a long term without re-election, seems to 
have been carefully considered. At the outset the general opinion of 
the del^ates was that Congress should elect the President; that 
his term of office should be three years; and that he should be 
re-eligible, as the doctrine of rotation would tend, it was said, to throw 
out of office the men best fitted to execute its duties. On the other 



THB THI&D-TEBM TRADITION. S69 

hand, maay of the m^oabers were very earnest for a term of seven years 
and no re-election. The Executive, said they, is to be chosen by the 
l^islatore, and will be absolutely dependent on it, as its creature and 
the Executive of its will and of the laws it passes. A long term with 
no succession to office will prevent a false complaisance on the part of 
the legislature toward an unfit man, and the temptation on the part of 
a bad Executive to intrigue with the legislature for reappointment One 
member begged hard for triennial election with ineligibility after nine 
years: but the States by a vote of five to four decided that the 
President's term should be seven years, and by a vote of seven to two ^ 
made him ineligible to re-election. Later on in the debate the 
membera changed iheir minds, Btruck out this prohibition, and, by a 
vote of six States to four declared him to be eligible to re-election. 
Ten days later, however, on the motion of Mason of Yirginia, this 
decision was set aside, and the resolution passed that the '^ Executive 
be appointed for seven years, and he ineligible a second tima" 

This seemed to be final. But when the Committee of Detail made 
its report, there was another struggle to take the election from Con- 
gress. So earnest was the effort tiiat the Convention could come to 
no conclusion, and in despair sent the matter, with a great many others, 
to a committee of one from each of the eleven States, which in time 
reported a plan for a choice by an Electoral College, — or, in case the Col- 
lege failed to elect, by the Senate, — and fixed the term at four years. In 
the debate which followed, a member of the committee told the Ccmven- 
tion that the sole purpose of the plan offered by the Committee of 
Eleven was to get rid of the provision, in the report of the Committee of 
Detail, that a President could not be re-elected, and so make him in- 
dependent of Congresa He was assured that the CoU^e would never 
elect ; that the Senate would always make the choice ; and that the 
President would be the creature of one branch of Congress. But the 
idea of re-election to many terms carried the day, and witii some slight 
chaxiges the reconmiendation of the Committee of Eleven was incor- 
porated in the Constitution. ^ 

From all this it is quite clear that the intention of the framers was 
that a President might be elected over and over again as many times 
as the electors saw fit to choose him. This was no carelessly formed 
decision ; but was the result of a long and bitter experience under the 
old Articles of Confederation they were about to overthrow. At the 
outbreak of the Bevolution the belief was general that the liberties of 
tiie people and the rights of the States would not be safe under any 



260 THE THIKD-TERM TRADIflON. 

system of general government, if the members of the federal legislature 
held their offices for a long term, or were repeatedly elected to it The 
Articles of Confederation therefore carefully provided that the members 
of the Continental Congress should be chosen annually ; that they might 
be recalled at any time by the States that sent them ; and that no 
delegate should hold his ofl&ce for more than three years in any term 
of six. The result was disastrous. Congress was a small body. The 
duties thrust on each member were diverse and important Yet the 
moment he began to be fairly familiar with his duties, the moment he 
began to be a really efficient servant of the people, his term expired, 
and he returned, in the language of the time, " to the body of the 
people," lest another term in Congress should " breed a lust of power." 
It was with the intention of preventing this loss of the services of valu- 
able and experienced men that the fathers carefully abstained from 
placing any limit on the time of service of Senators and Bepresenta- 
tives, and, after due consideration, reversed their action and removed 
a limit they had placed on the number of times a citizen could be 
elected President 

But again their purpose has been defeated and their judgment con- 
demned by that great tribunal — the people — ^before which, in our 
country, all public issues must sooner or later be tried. Again the un- 
written constitution has amended the written, and no task is now quite 
so hopeless as that of re-electing a President to a third term. For much of 
this, precedent is alone responsible Had our first President been willing 
to accept a third term, — and the people would gladly have given it, — he 
would in all likelihood have been followed by a long line of Presidents 
each serving for twelve instead of eight years. But he was weary of 
office and gladly laid it down. His motive for this act is so often 
forgotten that it is well to quote from his " Farewell Address": 

'* The acceptance and continuance hitherto in office, to which your suffrages 
have twice called me, have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion 
of duty, and to a deference to what appeared to be your wishes. ... I rejoice 
that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the 
pursuit of inclination incompatible with the pursuit of duty or propriety.** 

No scruples about a third term troubled him in the least He went 
back to private life solely because he was tired of the Presidency, and 
because the state of the country did not demand a further sacrifice of 
his comfort Yet this act set an example which for many years was 
followed implicitly by his successors, though it was long before the 
people saw anything wrong in the suggestion of a third term. Mr. 



THE THIRD-TERM TRADITION. 261 

Jefferson was the first to point this out More than two years before 
his second term ended, the legislature of Vermont, on November 5, 
1806, formally invited him to become a candidate for a third term, and 
the great Republican strongholds made haste to follow her. Georgia 
joined in the request in December ; Maryland in January, 1807 ; Rhode 
Island in February ; New York and Pennsylvania in March ; and New 
Jersey in December. North Carolina joined later. So far Jefferson 
had made no reply, but the time had now come to speak out, for in a 
few weeks it would be the duty of the Congressional Caucus to nomi- 
nate — or, as the phrase went, recommend — a candidate. On the 10th 
of December, 1807, therefore, he replied to the invitations of Vermont, 
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and gave his reasons for declining a 
third term. He said : 

" That I should lay down my charge at a proper period is as much a duty as 
to have borne it faithfully. If some termination to the services of the Chief 
Magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, 
nominally for years, will in fact become for life ; and history shows how easily 
that degenerates into an inheritance. Believing that a representative government 
responsible at short periods of election is that which produces the greatest sum 
of happiness to mankind, I feel it a duty to do no act which shall essentially im- 
pair that principle ; and I should unwillingly be the first person who, disregard- 
ing the sound precedent set by an illustrious predecessor, should furnish the first 
example of prolongation beyond the second term of office." 

The enemies of Mr. Jefferson have asserted that his long silence 
was due to policy and not to indifference, that the thirteen months 
which elapsed between the November day, 1806, when the legislature 
of Vermont invited him to run again, and the 10th of December, 1807, 
when he answered with his famous letter, were spent in a careful 
nursing of what in the political language of our time would be called 
" his boom " ; and that he did not say No, till he was quite sure that 
it would be folly to say Yes. The charge is unfair and unjust ; yet 
the fact remains that he could not possibly have been elected. There 
were then seventeen States in the Union casting 176 electoral votes, 
making 89 necessary for a choice. On the 10th of December, 1807, 
these votes stood : 

Re^ubliean Staiet not tUclaringfor 
For Jefferoom and a Third Term Fodormlut Siaiot Third Term, andtn^pori' 

ingMaduon 

Vermont 6 New Hampshire.... 7 Virginia 24 

Rhode Island 4 Massachusetts 19 South Carolina. ... . 10 

New York 19 Connecticut 9 Ohio 8 

Pennsylvania 20 Delaware 8 Kentucky 8 

New Jersey 8 Maryland 2 Tennessee 5 

Maryland 9 — — 

Geoigia 6 40 50 

North Carolina 14 

"86 



262 THE THIBD-TERM TRADITION. 

It will be observed that in the list of third-term States the full 
electoral vote of each is given to Jefferson, except in the case of Mary- 
land, which in 1804 and in 1808 cast two Federalist votes. These, 
therefore, have been taken from him in the table, leaving him 86, or 
just three short of a bare majority. As a matter of fact the third-term 
States, when the election took place, cast but 79 Republican votes, for 
Rhode Island was carried by the Federalists, who also secured three 
votes in North Carolina. 

Mr. Jefferson's chances in the Caucus, which met on the 28d of 
January, 1808, were very poor. They were poorer still before the 
people, who, the land over, most heartily indorsed his anti-third-term 
principles. The democratic citizens of Adams County, Pennsylvania, 
in public meeting assembled at Gettysburg, approved " that manly and 
sublime effort which dictated your determination to retire from public 
life at the close of the next elective period of your authority." At 
a meeting of delegates from the wards of Philadelphia an address was 
drawn up in which the President was assured that — 

— " in yielding homage to the motives which have induced your voluntary re- 
tirement from public life, while surrounded by the w a rmes t affections of the 
people, we derive consolation from the consideration that your example may 
operate on all future Presidents to pursue a course which has added lustre to your 
character, already dear to liberty and to your country." 

The Senate of Maryland in a long address told him : 

** Whilst we daily appreciate the motives which induce you to decline being 
considered among the number of those out of whom the choice of our next Presi- 
dent Is to be made, and whilst we revere the patriotism which dictated those 
motives, permit us still to indulge the pleasing hope that when the next period of 
presidential election approximates [1812], should the united voice of your 
countrymen require it, those same motives and that same patriotism will induce 
you to sacrifice your private wishes and convenience to your country's good.** 

Even the legislature of the far-away Territory of Orleans was moved 
to address the President and to heartily commend his wise decision. 
Their address said: 

" However we may regret, in common with our fellow citizens of the United 
States, this determination to decline being a candidate for the highest oAoe in 
the gift of the people, the motives which induce it afford another proof of your 
patriotism, and must oonmmnd the approbation of the country.** 

The Tammany Society of Philadelphia, while celebrating its anni- 
versary in May, 1808, drank to the toast, '' President Jefferson — ^Bota- 



THE THIRD-TERM TRADITION. 263 

tion in office is the bulwark of freedoiiL His precedent deserves our 
homage and our gratitude, and traitors would alone refuse them." On 
the Fourth of July his conduct was very generally approved in some 
such toast as this: "Jefferson — May his successor imitate his virtues 
and follow his motto, rotation in office." 

That his virtues had any influence on his successors is exceedingly 
doubtful; but his bold assertion that two terms were all that it was 
safe to give any President had a deep and lasting influence on the peo- 
ple, and did far more than the example of Washington to establish the 
unwritten law which for more than sixty years none of his successors 
was hardy enough to defy. 

Of our later Presidents Jackson is the only one who could 
have defied it He was the first "man of the people" to be 
raised to the office of Chief Magistrate. In his day democracy was 
indeed triumphant, and he was the ideal democrat No one else has 
ever closed a second term more honored, more truly beloved by the 
people than on the day whereon he b^an his first term. He had but 
to say the word, and he would surely have been thrice President of the 
United States. But he, too, would not break through the unwritten 
law, and during six-and-thirty years the question of a third term 
was not heard of, for in all that long period no Presidents save Lincoln 
and Grant were given even a second term. But at length, in 1872, 
the question did come up in a very definite form. The second 
election of Grant, it will be remembered, took place in the autumn of 
that year, and was scarcely over when the " New York Herald " raised 
the cry of C»sarism, and loudly proclaimed that our republican institu- 
tions were threatened with ruin by the probable re-election of Grant in 
1876. The possibility of such an event was four years away ; yet so 
great was the dread of it that the third-term question became a real 
political issue. Other newspapers echoed the cry. Public men were 
called on to define their position. Political conventions declared 
against it in their platforms, and finally, as the presidential year drew 
near, Mr. Springer, of Hlinois, moved this resolution in the House of 
Bepresentatives : 

'* Ruolved : That, in the opinion of this House, the precedent established by 
Washington, and other Presidents of the United States, in retiring from the 
presidential oflSce after their second term, has become, by universal concurrence, 
a part of our republican system of government, and that any departure from this 
time-honored custom woidd be unwise, unpatriotic, and fraught with peril to our 
free institutions.** ' 

^ "Journal of the House of Bepresentatives," Dec. 15, 1875, pp. 66, 67, 



264 THE THIRD-TERM TRADITION. 

How perfectly the resolution expressed the sentiments of the people 
is made manifest by the treatment it received at the hands of their 
representatives, who, without a moment's hesitation, suspended the 
rules and passed it, on the very day it was introduced, by a yea-and- 
nay vote of 234 to 18. Thirty-seven did not vote. 

This ended for the time being all hope of renominating Grant, who 
retired at the close of his terra and began his famous journey around the 
world. But it was only for the time being, and, as that journey drew 
to a close, the masters of the Republican party — Mr. Conkling, Mr. 
Cameron, and Mr. Logan — determined to renew the old effort to re- 
elect him. The time seemed opportune One of those periods of 
despondency — of political blues — which occasionally afflict us, had set in. 
The contested election of 1876 ; the troubles in the South ; the pacific 
policy of Hayes ; the attempt to steal the State government in Maine ; 
and, above all, the desperate condition of the Republican party, — had 
aroused serious doubts as to the permanency of " our free institutions." 
Men were beginning to talk of a strong government, or at least of a 
government administered by a strong man, — such as Grant, who just at 
this time landed on the Pacific coast The reception given him by his 
countrymen was such as has never been accorded to any other citizen, 
and, mistaking this outburst of gratitude for a sure sign that the people 
had again turned to Grant for political leadership, the effort of the 
machine to renominate him began in serious earnest The struggle which 
followed is too recent to need description. We all remember how the 
dominating power of Conkling in New York, of Cameron in Pennsyl- 
vania, and of Logan in Illinois, extorted from the conventions of those 
States a demand for the nomination of Grant ; how other States fol- 
lowed this lead ; how the friends of the movement were denounced as 
" Restorationists " and " Imperialists " ; how they persisted in their effort 
to the very last ; how in the Chicago Convention they never cast less 
than 803 votes and once cast 313; and how by their persistence they 
forced that compromise which resulted in the nomination of Garfield. 
All these things are still fresh in our memories, and, being so, it is not 
a little strange that a serious effort should be on foot to give a third 
term to Mr. Cleveland. 

The fears which tormented the founders of the Republic have long 
since vanished. We do not believe that our democratic institutions 
can ever be subverted by any occupant of the White Housa We stand 
in no dread that the day will come when some successful general or 
gome unscrupulous politician will first s^ize tb^ Presidency an<J thea 



THE THIRD-TERM TRADITION. 265 

use its great power to set up a life-long dictatorsUp, or establisli a 
kingdom, on the ruins of the Republic. Yet there is no reason to be- 
lieve that the old-time antipathy to a third term is one whit less strong 
than it ever was. Any sane man will admit that the bank, or the rail- 
road company, or the corporation of any sort that should dismiss a 
tried and able president merely because the stockholders had twice 
placed him in the executive chair, would deserve financial ruin. No 
tendency in the business world is more marked than the constant effort 
to find men pre-eminently fitted to carry on certain lines of business, 
and to place the management of such concerns entirely in their hands. 
But the common-sense rules which govern the selection of the presi- 
dent of a corporation do not apply in the election of a President of the 
United States. Our Presidents are not chosen because of their fitness, 
but because of their availability. Some are dark horses ; some are 
nominated because they alone can reconcile contending factions ; some 
because they can carry pivotal States. Others are forced on the voters 
by the machina In theory this is all wrong. In practice no harm 
comes from it Under our system of government we do not want, we 
do not need, a President of extraordinary ability. The average man 
is good enough, and for him two terms is ampla We want a strong 
government of the people by the people, not a government of the people 
by a strong man, and we ought not to tolerate anything which has even 
the semblance of heredity. The advocates of a third term for Mr. 
Cleveland will do well to remember the doctrine of the illustrious 
founder of their party, that " in no office can rotation be more ex- 
pedient" 

J. B. McMaster. 



THE GENERAL RAILROAD SITUATION. 

So much has been written already upon the subject of railways in 
this country, that I do not propose to weary the readers of The 
PoBUM by a repetition of well-known facts. It may be assumed, I 
think, without fear of contradiction, that the railway situation is em- 
braced in the following condensed outlines : 

First Railways in the United States have for several years been 
suffering from an intense competition, which has reduced their net 
profits to such an extent as to render many of them undesirable invest- 
ments, while the revenues of the best of them have been seriously 
impaired. 

Second. The causes of this decline in railway prosperity can be 
distinctly traced to the construction of superfluous lines, the result of 
which has been an increase of transportation capacity beyond the 
present wants of the community. Under such conditions the railways 
have been forced to scramble for traffic at unremunerative rates. 

Third In addition to the demoralization in rates of transportation 
which this sharp competition has produced, legislation in many of the 
Western States has been arbitrary and oppressive in assuming the 
power of fixing maximum charges without reference to the right of 
railway companies to a reasonable return upon the capital invested, and 
in adding yearly to the taxes upon railway property in defiance of 
those equitable principles upon which taxation should be founded. 

Fourth. In the enforcement of the Interstate Commerce Law, which 
attempts to regulate railway traffic in opposition to the natural laws of 
trade, and refuses to them the privilege of meeting the difficulties of 
the situation by a simple and harmless method of distributing the whole 
traffic of groups of systems at common gateways, for the purpose of 
stopping rate-cutting and improper discrimination. 

The original trouble traced to the useless multiplication of railway 
lines is obviously beyond remedy, except in so far as in process of time 
traffic may be developed in a growing country sufficiently to give full 
employment to the transportation agencies. This will be the ultimate 
relief ; but it is a slow process, and the railway disease is making rapid 



THE GENERAL RAILROAD SITUATION. 26T 

progreds and should be checked at once. The assumption that in time 
the growth in local resources and the constant expansion of interstate 
commerce will overtake the excessive transportation facilities is not a 
hazardous one. The railways of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
Khode Island, if not the entire railway system of New England, offer 
strong proof of this. In the three States named the railway lines show 
a construction of about one-quarter of a mile of road to the square mile 
of area, while construction in the Central- Western States will show 
about one-fifth of a mile of road to the square mile of area. Kow, in 
Massachusetts the population is about two himdred and ninety-seven 
to the square mile, while in the Middle- Western States, such as Ohio, 
Indiana, and Illinois, it is about eighty to the square mila 

In the New England States named, the railways make a fear return 
upon the capital invested, even in these times, whUe in the Western 
States it is just the reversa This is accounted for by the density of 
poptiktion in the first, and the comparative sparsity in the last In 
time the Western States will overtake those of New England, and then 
even the present railway facilities will be inadequate. Hence I con- 
clude that under the universal commercial law of supply and demand 
the railways might eventually work out their own salvation, but 
meanwhile they are suffering. It may be urged, against this anticipa- 
tion, that railway construction will grow also; but this is not in 
aocordance with precedents. Construction statistics prove that in the 
old, well-settled Eastern States, railway mileage has about reached its 
maximum for the present, and in the Middle- Western States it is in the 
declining stage, even in projection. There is, of course, but little 
inducement to build now, and it would be difficult to provide capital 
for new projects ; but the decline in railway construction in the most 
thickly settled of the Western States is largely to be attributed to the 
existing facilities. A generation may pass away while we are waiting 
for the action of natural causes upon the railway situation, and we 
therefore seek for some more immediate and tangible relief. 

At first sight the reader may conclude that a trouble which is con- 
fessedly to some extent the resxdt of foolish enterprise on the part of 
the proprietors of railway lines, and partly to the unwise policy of com- 
peting with existing lines at ruinous traffic rates, being self-inflicted, 
deserves but little consideration ; but there are two sides to the ques- 
tion. The present owners of railway property are no more responsible 
for the unhealthy development of railway enterprise than other people. 
They had nothing to do with this superfluous construction. Why, 



268 THE GENERAL RAILROAD SITUATION. 

then, should they be deprived of sympathy because their predecessors 
of a former generation were mad on the subject of railway construction ? 
And so long as the lines are here ; so long as at all important com- 
peting points there are five or six lines where but two or three could 
do the service and do it well, how can the competition which produces 
demoralization be avoided ? Left to its natural flow, business would 
go over the best and shortest lines, and therefore the inferior lines 
must offer some inducement in lower rates or lose the traffic entirely. 
Then comes the struggle, for the old lines will not submit to depletion 
without resisting the attacks upon their legitimate traffic. It is need- 
less to pursue this part of the subject It is patent to all men of 
intelligenca 

There are six lines between Chicago and St Louis, and seven be- 
tween Chicago and Kansas City. Two or three lines could easily 
handle the entire traffic in either casa Between the Atlantic and 
Pacific coasts there are, including the Canadian Pacific Eailway, six 
lines where but two are required for the existing traffic. In each 
of these cases it may be assumed that two or three of the number are 
at a disadvantage in the competition, by reason either of greater length 
or of heavier grades. It follows that to obtain a fair share of the aggre- 
gate traffic, — or what the managers consider a fair share, — the inferior 
lines must offer some inducement to draw from the superior channels. 
The lines have been constructed, and they must be operated or become 
valueless. Eate-cutting is the inevitable consequence. 

In the consideration of these perplexing difficulties and the reme- 
dies therefor, we meet with a greater variety of nostrums for their 
removal than is developed in the whole range of medical science bear- 
ing upon the physical ills of humanity. Some of the propositions 
of intelligent men are fair, but utterly impracticable; while others 
are governed by a spirit of uncompromising hostility bom of a 
stupid prejudice against all corporations, or influenced by political 
aspirations. Among the remedies proposed by the first is that of 
government ownership and control, and this proposition is supported 
by two distinct classes : the honest and well-meaning, who would ac- 
quire the properties by purchase ; and the others, of anarchical sympa- 
thies, who would accomplish the object by confiscation. The latter 
may be found in the ranks of the Populists. 

Beferring to the first proposition, which contemplates a fair valua- 
tion and purchase, and which is therefore entitled to some respect as 
$ui honest expression of opinion^ it mu3t have become sufficiently ob- 



THB GENERAL HAILROAD SITUATION. 269 

vious from practical experience, as illustrated by recent developments 
in AustraUa, that such a solution of our railway problem would be un- 
desirable even were it available; but there are serious obstacles to 
govemmentar control in our case which no plans hitherto submitted 
to the public have taken into considerat^n. Here is one proposfed, for 
example, which tries to demonstrate the feasibility of the scheme of 
purchase, which goes into a calculation of the net earnings of all lines 
during a year, and upon that result proposes to issue a S per cent 
government stock in exchange for the railway property at a fair valua- 
tion. But here the calculator ignores the fact that at least one-half of 
the valuation would represent a mortgage debt bearing an average in- 
terest of at least 5 per cent, and he does not seem to realize that these 
mortgages are contracts which cannot be touched by any legislation, 
except at the peril of a revolution. No right of eminent domain, 
no legislation for the public good, can impair the inviolability of con- 
tracts. It would then be necessary to recognize these mortgages, and 
the proposed issue of S per cent government stock would subject Gov- 
ernment to a heavy loss. This would be intolerable. I only mention 
this as a fair illustration of the crudities of thought not uncommon 
even among men of education and high character. Beyond this is the 
antagonism of a free people to the concentration of power and patron- 
age in the hands of the privileged few, which would be at once pro- 
voked. This last-named obstacle has been elaborately discussed in 
the railroad literature of the day. It will be an astonishing example 
of retrograde movement if such a scheme is ever seriously entertained 
in the United States. One might then anticipate a recognition of the 
" divine right of kings " under such a change in popular opinion, or 
the restoration of feudal privileges, so great appears the surrender 
of the personal liberty for which men struggle for ages. Facilis 
descensus Avemi 

This is the railway situation. What is the remedy? 

At this point it is easy to conceive the intervention of a Populist 
opponent, who may ask why the situation calls for any remedy at alL 
From his point of view, competition among the railway lines, even if 
destructive to their interests, is just what the people want ; the laws 
regulating railway traffic are intended to prevent monopoly, and we do 
not care how fiercely the railways compete, so long as the competition 
results in lower rates to the public. But, setting aside the heartless 
character of the proposition which adopts class legislation for the public 
good, the real question is whether competition such as I have described 



270 THE GENERAL RAILROAD STTUATION. 

is a beaeflt to the people ? I contend that it is just the reverse. A 
healthy competition protects the people against extortion, and is doubt- 
less beneficial ; but an unhealthy competition, which gives to large ship- 
pers an immense advantage over the small, ultimately enfeebling the 
competitors, impairing their efficiency, and impeding the natural growth 
of transportation facilities, is clearly against public interests. And it is 
precisely in this way that the present restrictive legislation works. 
One of the pretended advantages of the Interstate Commerce Law is 
that it prevents unjust discrimination, whereas, in fact, it promotes it 
by increasing the advantages of shippers who control the largest 
amount of freight He who cannot see this inevitable result in the 
reckless competition which the law encourages, is not familiar with the 
business of transportation. 

For these reasons the remedy is required as much for the benefit of 
the people as for the relief of railway companies. The first step in the 
curative process is to repeal the anti-pooling clause of the Interstate 
Commerce Law, and to adopt an amendment which will l^alize agree- 
ments for a division of traffic imder the supervision of the Commis- 
sioners. The resiQt of this would be to enable the strong lines to allot 
a percentage of the gross traffic to the inferior lines, under an agree- 
ment to maintain established ratea With such an agreement the 
temptation to cut rates will be removed, and the power to enforce 
penalties agreed upon woiQd make violations of the agreement costly 
experimenta The second remedy lies in the enactment by each State 
of a law to regulate railway construction, similar to that in force in 
the New England States and in New York. The operation of this law 
limits railway construction to the lines which receive the approval of the 
railway commissioners of the Stata If the public convenience de- 
mands the construction of a new line, the commissioners give their 
consent If, on the contrary, the project is merely in the interest of 
speculators, whose design is to prey upon the traffic laboriously built 
up by existing lines, which are able to transact all business present 
or in the near future, consent is refused, and the enterprise can- 
not proceed If the projectors are dissatisfied with the decision of 
the conmiission, they have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, 
which can interfere if the circumstances demand it A recent case in 
New York State furnishes an exact illustration. The Commission 
refused to approve the construction of a short line which would paral- 
lel one now running. The projectors appealed, and the Court sustained 
the Commission. 



THE GENERAL RAILROAD SITUATION. 271 

These are briefly the remedies which the railway compameB favor, 
and which men of intelligence throughout the country support, unless 
they have come under the baleful influence of Populistic demagogue& 

My own theory, which supports movement toward railway relief, 
is that the business of transportation cannot be seriously injured 
without a corresponding detriment to the commercial and industrial 
interests of the country. This proposition is fortified by the experi- 
ence of the last four years, which shows beyond question that no one 
factor has been more potent in lessening industrial activity than the 
increasing difficulties of raUway companies. From all points of view— 
whether in their bad effect upon the interests of workingmen or upon 
the investment of foreign capital, or in the development of enterprise- 
there is no single influence which has been so powerful and so injurious 
to all public interesta 

I am not unmindful of the accusations brought against railway cor- 
porations by the advocates of such oppressive restrictions as I have in 
part described. One of these, which has become stereotyped, alleges 
that extensive watering of capital stock and reckless financial manage- 
ment have characterized raUway development in this country. This is 
partly truth and partly exaggeration. There have been some instances 
of stock-watering in liie sense of creating stock for a value which did 
not exist, and there are many instances where stock has been sold at a 
low price either by fraudulent practice or by financial stresa Increase 
of stock has also been made by stock dividends to represent expendi- 
tures for betterments, and, again, stock has been issued by construc- 
tion companies to swell the profit of the contractors. But, taking all 
these issues, the number represented in an aggregate sum will, in my 
opinion, be much less than people are led to believe by the loose talk 
of woidd-be railway reformers. A definite statement of such hydro- 
pathic treatment would be much more satisfactory than the vague gen- 
eralities which imply a much greater participation on the part of the 
railway companies than is warranted by the facts. It may be useful 
to review briefly some of the glaring instances of the over-issue of 
capital stock which can justify the charge of "watering." 

A little over forty years since, the New York & New Haven 
Bailroad Company was the victim of an extensive fraud by an over-issue 
of stock, and the Vermont Central Company suffered by a small ona 
In both cases the over-issue was redeemed. The Vermont Central 
sold stock as low as $30 per share, but this was openly done. These 
transactions are all I can recall of stock-watering in New England. 



i 



2t2 THE GENERAL RAILROAD SITUATION. 

In New York, the New York Central Railroad, under Commodore 
Vanderbilt, declared a stock dividend to represent the expenditures for 
betterments made during a number of yeara This is also called " stock- 
watering," but it is the practice of English railway companies to capi- 
talize such expenditures every year. Conmiodore Vanderbilt claimed 
that the amount of this dividend had been taken from the earnings, and, 
to the amount of the issue, had added to the value of the property. In 
other words, he adopted the English method, and capitalized money 
expended for improvements. The New York & Erie Railroad Com- 
pany, by the sale of convertible bonds at low prices, introduced quite a 
volume of water into its capital stock, and it is possible that the West 
Shore Railroad Company added nominally to its capital, — ^without profit, 
however, to the projectors. 

In the West, a number of instances can be given also, including 
roads built by construction companies ; but making a rough estimate 
of the entire amount involved in the watering process, whether by fraud, 
speculation, construction or stock dividends, I doubt if any statistician 
can prove a dilution which would aggregate $500,000,000, or but a 
little more than one twenty-third part of the total cost of the 178,000 
miles of railways in the United States. How insignificant these figures 
appear as a basis for the sweeping charge which is intended to prove 
adequate returns in revenue on a fair cash valuation of the property I 

I believe my estimate wiU bear critical examination ; but, suppose 
we admit a much larger amount of watering than can be proved, what 
is to be said of the vast simis which have been wiped out of existence 
by bankruptcy and foreclosure? I venture to assert that at least 
double the amount of capital has been extinguished in this way, to 
that which has been created by fictitious capital Moreover, it is an 
indisputable fact that hundreds of millions of dollars have been ex- 
pended in improvements which have been paid for from earnings and 
are not represented in the aggregate cost of our railway system. The 
New York & New Haven, the New York Central, the Pennsylvania, 
the Baltimore & Ohio, the Erie, and the Lake Shore companies have 
expended inmiense sums in this way, but a small part of which has been 
capitalized. Most of these betterments have been at the cost of the 
stockholders. 

A fair examination of the subject leaves no foundation for an argu- 
ment which is always introduced to prove that railway companies are 
trying to earn upon an exaggerated cost, and therefore deserve no 
sympathy. An average cost of about $62,000 per mile is thus made to 



THE GENERAL HAlLftOAD StTUATION. 278 

appear excessive by people who see notldng surprising in the fact that 
English railways cost an average of $225,000 per mile. The truth is, 
that raUways in this country are opened for traffic as soon as trains can 
be safely moved over the track, and with this temporary construction 
they have undertaken transportation to meet the rapidly growing 
wants of the country. In a few years such structures must give way 
to more substantial work. In this way, — in the substitution of iron for 
wooden bridges, and of stone for wooden culverts ; in the laying of 
heavier rails ; in making additions to the motive power and rolling- 
stock ; in the building of more commodious and substantial stations ; 
and in numberless, but desirable improvements, — a constant demand 
is kept up by railway operations, increasing in the ratio of traffic devel- 
opment A very large proportion of these expenditures, until within a 
few years, has been paid out of earnings and charged to operating 
expenses. To the extent thus charged, railway lines in this country, 
valued at about $11,500,000,000, and represented by that sum in bonds 
and stock, are understated as to actual cost of construction. Had the 
English method of capitalization been adopted; it is not unreasonable 
to assume that a cost of at least $80,000 per mile would have been 
reached. Therefore, without doubting the sincerity of many intelligent 
men who lay so much stress upon the fictitious valuation of our rail- 
ways, I am confident that they have been led astray as to the actual 
cash cost of railway construction. 

At this point the productiveness of railway traflEic on the amount 
invested, as represented by the funded debt and capital stock of the 
178,000 miles constructed and in operation, should be considered. 
According to " Poor's Manual," the items are as follows : 

PuDded Debt $5,665,784,000 

Capital Stock 5,075,629,000 

On this aggregate sum of $10,741,363,000 the railways divided in 
1894 the sum of $322,899,000, or an average of about 3 per cent Of 
this sum the funded debt having a fixed rate of interest received the 
sum of $237,620,000, or 4 per cent; and the capital stock, $85,299,000, 
or a little more than 1^ per cent The year 1894 was one of excep- 
tional dullness in railway traffic, but the results were not much better 
in the three or four years preceding, the railways having by forced 
economies reduced the operating expenses and expended less for main- 
tenance and repair. 

Is it possible that any man of intelligence will consider 3 per cent 



274 THE GENERAL RAILROAD SITUATION. 

a reasonable return on the capital invested in railway property ? But 
more than half the amount, in bonds bearing interest, received 4 per 
cent, while more than $5,000,000,000 received but a fraction more 
than H per cent 

A further analysis of the statement will prove that a very large 
amount of both bonds and stock received no interest or dividend what- 
ever ; but, turn the figures as we may, it will be difficult to make the 
statement any more favorable to railway property. Before this pitiful 
return on railway stock, what signifies the idle talk about watered 
stock? Supposing even one-half to be water, the dividends would 
have been but 3 per cent 

In this proof of inadequate return the impartial student will find 
several questions of primary importance involved. The public interests 
require constant improvement in railway acconmiodations and in the 
facilities of transportation. New devices to render passenger travel 
more secure from accident ; better arrangements for the comfort as 
well as the safety of travellers ; double tracks, block signals, im- 
proved switches ; and progressive movements in the direction of 
more perfect service, too numerous to give in detail, — are constantly 
presented. All these improvements are costly, but should be adopted 
as speedily as possible ; but how can such expenditures be made 
from such limited profits ? 

To add to the perplexities of the railway problem we have the 
possibility of labor disturbances, illustrated in the strikes during the 
summer of 1894 Here, as in fact in all the troubles which railways 
encounter, the public interest is at stake. To interrupt transporta- 
tion is to impede commerce, and to subject all classes to great loss 
and sometimes to great suffering ; and all good citizens will unite in 
crushing such attempts to interfere with the flow of the vital currents 
upon which our prosperity as a nation depends. ' 

It has not been the intention of the writer to present the railway 
troubles of the time as a grievance for which any class can be held 
responsible. In fact, it is frankly admitted that railway companies 
themselves are largely the promoters, if not the projectors, of the diffi- 
culty ; but, as the situation admits of no permanent relief except 
through agreements between the competing lines which can be enforced 
by law, it is strenuously urged in this paper that public interests re- 
quire the prompt adoption of the proposed amendment to the Interstate 
Commerce Law, which passed the House of Representatives last winter. 
It is exasperating to think that a measure which would certainly have 



THE GENERAL RAILROAD SITUATION. 275 

passed the Senate by a large majority should have been defeated by 
discreditable tactics and unnecessary delays. The only objection to 
this amendment is too frivolous to require lengthy consideration ; but 
let us give all sides a hearing. It is urged that a division of gross 
earnings, or " pooling," as it is called, would stop competition and raise 
rates. This the railway interest denies, so far as rates are in question. 
The only object of legalized pooling is to maintain existing rates, — 
thus preventing unreasonable discrimination, — not to advance them. 
Rate-cutting is the most oSensive form of discrimination, and its prac- 
tice is illustrated in the movement of large agricultural or manufac- 
tured products at rates which can of themselves hardly pay operating 
expenses. The only way the railways can do this is by utilizing cars 
moving in one direction with paying freight, which, without loading 
with grain or a similar class of freight, would perhaps return empty. 
In these heavy shipments at nominal rates, small shippers are obvi- 
ously placed at a disadvantage. But if, in spite of the assurances of 
railway managers, it is insisted that the desired legislation would be 
opposed to public interests ; if the supervision of the Commission is 
not a sufficient guarantee of good faith, — what great harm can result 
from a trial of the experiment for a single year ? If the public good 
requires a return of the restriction, is it not in the power of Congress 
to restore it ? It is difficult to find any substantial objection to the 
trial of an experiment which may be of great advantage to the people, 
in view of the legislative control which will minimize the alleged danger 
to insignificanca 

The plea for liberal treatment of railway corporations is founded 
largely upon the assumption that the unproductiveness of such property 
is a positive injury to the material interests of the country, whether 
in its bearing upon the prosperity of numerous and extensive industries, 
and upon the army of workmen employed by them, or in its eflfect upon 
the construction of railway lines in the comparatively unsettled and 
undeveloped parts of the West To this we can add the positive asser- 
tion that, in rendering these transportation agencies undesirable for the 
investment of capital, we shall not only drive foreign and domestic capi- 
tal from an employment which stimulates the growth and expansion of 
the whole country, but we shall obstruct our own local progress. From 
any point of view within the scope of the writer^s vision, it is preju- 
dicial to the interests of the people to support a policy which discourages 
enterprise essential to our national development The Populistic idea 
seems to be that railway corporations are gigantic monopolies organized 



2t6 THE OfiNfiBAL ttAlLttOAD SlTl^ATiOK. 

to prey upon the substance of the people, and that all measures of 
restraint are justifiable which will force cheaper service, even if such 
measures cripple or ruin the agency employed. This mean and narrow 
view is an insult to the intelligence of the people, and utterly opposed 
to the fundamental principles of republican government 

The Interstate Commerce Law, as originally introduced, would have 
been one of the most stupid and mischievous measures ever presented 
to Congress ; but, fortunately, the practical good sense of the Committee 
to whom it was referred eliminated its most offensive parts. The law 
as it stands, however, is, in my opinion, a useless piece of legislation, 
full of impracticable provisions which never have been and never can 
be enforced. What, for example, can be more stupid or more unjust 
than to prescribe rules for knd transportation while inland navigation is 
left free ? What can be more imjust or more unwise than to propose 
r^ulations which, if carried out, would neutralize the geographical 
advantages possessed by seaboard or inland cities ? It would be out 
of place to discuss this part of our subject at length, nor is it necessary, 
inasmuch as experience has exposed the weak points of the law. Rail- 
way men do not object to a supervision on the part of the Government, 
and I think I can add that such a supervision meets with their approval 
generally ; but the main object of a Commission of this character should 
be to protect the people from extortion, and to compel safe and efficient 
service. Beyond these important safeguards, interference is not only 
unnecessary, but contrary to public interest 

Writers upon the inexhaustible subject considered in this paper are 
doubtless more or less influenced in their views by personal interests ; 
but I think recent experience has demonstrated that the whole country 
has suffered from the adverse conditions visible in railway transporta- 
tion, and I am confident that the time is not far distant when our citi- 
zens will recognize the truth of the proposition that the transportation 
and conmiercial interests of the country are identical, and that, if one of 
these is disabled, the consequences will be speedily reflected in the 
embarrassment of the other. 

O. D. Ashley. 



THE NAVY AS A CAREER 

Thsbe are two principal aspects under which a career may be re- 
garded : (1) its inherent advantages, or disadvantages, to the person who 
undertakes it ; and (2) the value set upon it by the society of which 
he is a member, — ^for the general recognition of its usefulness and 
dignity will always form a part of its recommendations. The former 
consideration being the one that usually determines the individual 
choice, it will be first discussed. 

Granting adequate personal fitness, greater or less, for the naval 
career, and continued liking for it, the circumstance that specially 
characterizes it as contrasted with private callings, and most markedly 
distinguishes it from them, is, that advance from grade to grade — pro- 
motion — depends wholly upon seniority ; is unaffected, that is, by the 
comparative merits of the several persons who otherwise, being all 
more or less fit, might be called from a lower position to fill a vacancy. 
Like most other modes of procedure that have the sanction of long cus- 
tom, this has both good and bad sides — advantages and drawbacks ; 
and this fact has led to a good deal of discussion, in and out of the navy, 
as to whether or not it is better to alter the existing system in favor of one 
sanctioning greater freedom of choice in promoting. The question now 
before us, however, is not what is best for the navy, — ^and because for 
the navy, therefore for the country, — ^but the effect of a recognized rule 
(never departed from except for brilliant services in war) upon the for- 
tunes of the individual, and therefore upon the prospects offered to him 
by the career. 

I place this consideration first, because, although the navy as a life 
pursuit has decided attractions and decided drawbacks, which will be 
noted later, it in this respect resembles other callings ; but in the par- 
ticular feature mentioned it is different from all save the army, while 
even in the latter there is a limited choice allowed It is, of course, 
true of great corporations, having many employees, that the rule of 
seniority — of length of service — plays a conspicuous part : a large major- 
ity of men depart but little from the average of merit, and among such 
both policy and justice dictate that faithful and continuous service 



278 THE NAVY AS A CAREER. 

should be recognized by advancement But this does not prevent the 
corporation, either in theory or in practice, from selecting from among 
their own servants, or from outside, men most suitable for higher posi- 
tions as they become vacant ; and every employee knows that conspicu- 
ous ability means probable, if not certain, preferment That such choice, 
when made, will be in a general sense fairly just, is guaranteed by the 
clear interest of the person choosing. He needs the best man he can 
get for his own interests, — either direct personal interests or those of the 
corporation with which his own are bound up. The same soundness 
of choice cannot be predicated of an officer of the Government ; not 
because of a less firm purpose to choose righteously, but because 
immediate personal interest imparts a sensitiveness of appreciation, of 
judgment, which nothing else can equally do. Nor is it possible, 
antecedently, to judge from peace services what man will be most fit 
for 8UT5h rapid advancement as will give high command in war. The 
conditions are very dissimilar; and at the same time the navy, while it 
performs many useful services at other times, finds its supreme func- 
tion in war. It may be mentioned, in passing, that these considerations 
are felt in foreign navies, and the systems of selection there still preva- 
lent are becoming continually more and more modified by the claims 
of length of service. Of course partiality makes itself felt in private 
corporations, as by kinship or by personal r^ard, which is not always 
discriminating ; but as a rule the imperious claims of inmiediate inter- 
est will ensure the choice of the best man for exceptional advancement 

Now this unvarying promotion by seniority works in two ways for 
the individual, — favorably and unfavorably. In- the first place it gives 
security, permits quietness of mind — an immense boon in an over- 
anxious age; but on the other hand, by withholding the hope of 
material results from special activity, it removes in part the stimulus of 
emulation, as well as the inspiriting hope of preferment Emulation 
has its bad side as well as its good ; but as a factor in progress, as an 
inducement to go ahead, it is a very potent force, and the loss of it is 
something to be very seriously considered by one deciding upon a 
career. This reflection is perhaps too philosophical for boys of the age 
at which the naval profession is begun ; but it is not so for parents or 
guardians, when the decision rests with them. 

On the other hand, the loss of the factor of emulation is largely 
compensated for by the particular development of the sentiment of 
duty. Duty is the atmosphere in which a naval officer is brought up, 
from his entry into the service until his exit by deatL Some, doubt- 



THE NAVY AS A CAREER. 2t9 

less, may be n^lectful ; but the exceptions are rare, and in the great 
mass the f eelmg is strengthened, and receives continual support, from 
its being not simply their own individually, but that of all around them. 
I question whether in a given number of men the aggregate results from 
the sense of duty will equal those to be obtained from emulation — self- 
interest Except in rare cases the impulse is too calm, too unimpas- 
sioned ; but the effect upon the character, and consequently upon that 
happiness in which, to the individual, the true success of a career con- 
sists, is, I believe, distinctly more favorable. It may be noted, too, that 
the absence of competition and of rivalry takes away many of those 
sources of disappointment and anxiety which embitter life and destroy 
peace of mind. 

There is another considerable compensation for the loss of the 
opportunity to obtain advancement by diligent effort, which is to be 
found in the many-sided activity of the naval profession of the present 
day. The progress of -science has introduced, and is continually in- 
troducing, so many changes in the development of naval material and 
naval methods, that openings for novel mental occupation present 
themselves in many directions and for many types of mind. Each 
change, it may be said, raises new problems ; and, apart from the ma- 
terial and scientific aspect of the matter, the recent general impetus in 
all countries toward the study of the art of war at sea has aroused naval 
officers to the investigation of some of the noblest and most engrossing 
problems with which man has ever dealt, — a field in which human 
attainment, intellectual and moral, has in the far past been carried to 
the highest pitch it has ever known. 

These various subjects, correlatives of the naval profession as com- 
monly understood, yield a twofold advantage that cannot be too 
highly valued. In the first place they give interest — ^that salt of life ; 
for, after all, what can life in any career give to one who has lost inter- 
est ? or to one whose life is wrecked, while interest remains ? Like all 
sound interests they take possession of the man, carry him out of him- 
self, lead him forward and upward. They do not indeed remove from 
sight the material side of life, its necessities, desires, gratifications ; but 
they do much to compensate, albeit, perhaps, unconsciously, for the 
imdeniable discouragement attendant upon hope so long deferred that 
it ceases to be hope. And, in the second place, a certain amoimt of 
advantage which may be considered material results to men who have 
made their mark in these related pursuits. Their acquirements ensure 
them employment congenial to their taste, and often under condi- 



280 THE NAVY AS A CAREER. 

tions more than usuall j favorable to contentment and happiness in 
life. The advantages thus accruing are, it must be noted, very largely 
independent of rank and age. They are in fact personal to 
the man, results of his diligence and acquirements, and so of the 
nature of reward. Though not permanent, as promotion in the strict 
sense of the word would be, they are often recurrent, and in the 
aggregate they fill pleasantly and with modest profit a not inconsider- 
able portion of the career. 

There is a way in which the slowness of advancement affects the 
career of the navy, as touching the individual, that is not lost sight of, 
but which I think is perhaps inadequately weighed. Somewhat hum- 
drum and monotonous in daily routine and through long years, it is liable 
to sudden sharp calls of emergency, so extreme in comparison with the 
even tenor as to resemble convulsions of nature. From the genius and 
necessary constitution of military bodies, the strain in these cases falls 
upon one man — the one in command ; and to him it may mean fortune 
or ruin, according as he prove equal or inferior to the demand made on 
him. The power to endure in such cases — not only to bear responsi- 
bility, as it is commonly styled, but to do all that is needful — is partly a 
natural gift ; but it also depends, in the average man — and it is the 
average man that we must consider — upon previous training and habit 
Now, while admitting that previous reflection and thought — previous 
mental preparation — ^will do very much to qualify a man for such a call, 
it is undeniable that the habit of bearing responsibUity— of doing things 
of like character to that for which an extreme call has arisen — does much 
more. It is the misfortune of the system of advancement by seniority 
that, while it preserves a man from the injustice of having one im worthy 
put over his head, it does delay for him the opportunity of improv- 
ing by practice the particular faculties needed to cope with emergency. 
In so far as this affects the navy itself, it is outside the present dis- 
cussion; it has, however, drawn the serious attention of the Navy 
Department As regards the individual there remains the very serious 
question whether it is wise to embark in a career which, after main- 
taining him for many years in a quiet life, — not without care, but with- 
out serious anxiety, — ^suddenly makes upon him a tremendous call for 
which its conditions during his formative years have scarcely allowed 
adequate preparation. It is to my mind one of the most serious 
drawbacks : for failure under the conditions is failure total, irrevocable, 
and possibly tremendous ; and even success, to one so uninured to strain, 
may be bougljt ^i a pric^ pver-dear to pay. To a certain .extent this 



THE NAVY AS A CAREER. 281 

liability is inseparable from both the military professions, — and mill- 
taxy Jd naval Zorj give instances enou^of men .^.o after long 
years of respectable service in ayenure conditions have signally failed 
L responsiblTconnnand ; but promotion by seniority alone^taUs upon 
the individual the most extreme form of the risk indicated. 

To the naval career as followed in the United States there are two 
active sides,— the service on board ship at sea, and that known techni- 
callj as shore duty. Besides the actual handling and fighting of ships 
and fleets, which is the ultimate aim toward which all naval activities 
are directed, there are a number of antecedent requirements connected 
with the building, equipping, and manning of ships,— administrative 
duties, reaching in many directions and covering a wide field,— which 
are also essentud, and subsidiary only in the sense that root and trunk 
are essential to fruit Except for the fruit you do not want the tree ; 
but without the tree you cannot have the fruit In the United States 
Navy it has been the custom from long back to entrust these duties 
in almost all their details to naval officera The system has the advan- 
tage of employing usefully to the Government and to the service, in 
excess of the actual requirements of the peace establishment afloat, a 
number of officers, the greater part of whom would be inmiediately 
available for the additional ships commissioned in time of war ; while 
the remainder would afford the nucleus around which to gather and 
systematize whatever additional force might be required for these 
administrative functions under the pressure of war. The system pro- 
motes also a clear understanding, between the branches charged with 
the purely military and the partially civil duties of the naval adminis- 
tration, of their respective methods and difficulties; the same men 
passing from one to the other and keeping touch with both, not as 
mere onlookers, but as active participants. In these occupations on 
shore, opportunity is also given for study, observation, and a practical 
acquaintance with the details of preparation and growth through 
which passes ihe development of the vessel, the guns, the engines, and 
all the multitudinous apparatus that go to form the whole known in 
its finished state as a modem ship of war; and the knowledge thus 
obtained, though neither seamanship nor the ntiilitary art in the exclu- 
sive sense of those terms, conduces to a more easy, intelligent, and 
therefore thorough care of the implements which seamanship and 
naval war have to handle^ When the time of an officer is fairly pro- 
portioned between the two lines of duty, the interaction is beneficial 
both to himself and to the service. 



282 THE NAVY AS A CAREER. 

On shore duty the career of a naval officer presents in its external 
aspects no marked or necessary contrast to that of a civilian working 
and living on a modest salary. In the inner spirit with which the 
work is done, in the general tenor of the interior life, upon which so 
much of happiness depends, there will be of course the difference 
which early training, and the conditions before briefly indicated, will 
necessarily impart Professional characteristics will surely show 
themselves. In sea service, on the contrary, the contrast of environ- 
ment between the naval man and the civilian is sharp and emphatic, — 
one of kind, and not of degree only. It is true that the former exag- 
gerated severance between the two — ^which elicited Dr. Johnson's re- 
mark that " a ship was a prison, with the additional drawback that 
you might be drowned " — no longer exists. Absences from home are 
shorter. Correspondence is much more regular and frequent, thanks 
to the network of mail routes with which steam has covered the sea. 
Actual passages from port to port are far more rapid, so that men are 
no longer thrown, as of old, for long months upon the narrow coterie 
of a mess-room for companionship and society. The mere bodily 
necessities of life — air, food, water, light — ai*e purer, more varied, more 
. abundant ; and health, with the happiness dependent upon it, is in no 
way inferior to that of average shore life. Exposure to the elements 
there necessarily is, but rarely to an extent which injures : on the con- 
trary, its tendency is rather to invigorate and harden the frame, except 
in the infrequent emergencies which compel a prolonged stay in a 
sickly region. Neither the body nor the mind need suffer from the 
life of a naval officer ; but when the side of the emotions is touched 
there is a difference. The long breaks — ^two or three years — ^in the 
home life ; the lack of habitude to home and its ways ; husband and 
wife losing touch, and becoming independent of each other's support 
and sympathy ; children for long periods and at the plastic age with- 
out experience of the father's character and influence: if a career 
means more than material professional success, — whether in money, 
reputation, or anything else than simple happiness, — ^these inevitable 
drawbacks and privations must be considered in the award 

There remains the consideration of the navy as a career relatively 
to its place in the social organization. The consideration accorded to a 
profession in any society depends, not upon its intrinsic merits or advan- 
tages, but upon the general aims and pursuits of that society, and upon 
the value to its interests that it recognizes in the profession in question. 
A combination of circumstances, which it is needless here to analyze. 



THE NAVY AS A CAREER. 283 

have contributed to fasten the attention of the citizens of the United 
States pretty exclusively upon the internal affairs of the country, and to 
attach to the making and having of money an importance paramount 
to that of all other factors in life. Undoubtedly many other human 
interests claim and receive a certain share of attention ; but money, as 
the representative of power and the means to gratification, may with- 
out exaggeration be said to have no competitor so close as to be accu- 
rately called a rival In the navy, money will not be found ; and as, 
if it stands for anything, it stands for the representation of external 
interests, it fails there also to touch keenly the chords that respond to 
the sense of danger or advantage near at hand As a matter of fact, 
the external interests which are now generally recognized as calling 
for the existence and maintenance of a navy concern but a very small 
proportion of our citizens, — those who either reside or have business 
interests in foreign lands where political conditions are unsettled, and 
justice at times hard to obtain. Whether a wider-embracing view of 
national interests will in the future be justified, and, if justified, will 
be reached by so large a number of our own people as to consti- 
tute anything like a national sentiment, is a question upon which it is 
impossible to speak with certainty. My own opinion is that within 
the probable lifetime of one now entering the service such a senti- 
ment will have become general, owing to the course that external 
events are likely to take ; not by the initiative of our own country, 
but by the action of other states. K this should come to pass, the 
navy will undoubtedly gain that width of sympathy and recognition 
which, by the dignity it confers, is of itself no slight advantage to be 
considered in the choice of a profession. In no event will there be 
money in it ; but there may always be honor and quietness of mind 
and worthy occupation, — which are better guarantees of happiness. 

A. T. Mahan. 



A EEVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 

The problems whicli lie behind our familiar experience of nature 
and of man are a perennial attraction to those who think ; but the 
writer who handles them in simple words, and fills his treatise with 
the charm of literary sweetness, must be content to find more readers 
than students. Huxley's essays are eminently notable for the attrac- 
tive handling of these deeper problems ; and if those who read them to 
contradict and confute, or to believe and take for granted, are more 
numerous than those who read to weigh and consider, this is no more 
than he might have looked for. To many readers, and to many more 
who are not even readers, Huxley is a terrible and relentless radical, 
whose delight is in destruction ; and those who, under this impression, 
dread him and the science in whose name he speaks, are only less 
numerous than those who hold him in honor for the same reason. 
Now. nothing could be more unjust than this impression. The study of 
the essays shows that his most distinctive characteristic is not fanati- 
cism, but caution ; that he is so far from a radical that he has devoted 
a long life to the cultivation of his inborn conservatism ; that, while as- 
serting the claims of the new, he has never ceased to plead, in season 
and out of season, for the preservation of all that is best in the old 

If the object of any thinker in the nineteenth century is " the ac- 
tive scepticism whose whole aim is to conquer itself, and not that other 
sort which is bom of flippancy and ignorance," that man is Huxley. 
Every one of the essays proves his right to affirm, with Descartes : 

** I did not imitate the sceptics who doubt only for doubting's sake, and pre- 
tend to be always undecided : on the contrary, my whole intention was to aim at 
a certainty, and to dig away the drift and the sand until I reached the rock or 
the clay beneath.'* 

While every essay proves that this was Huxley's aim, I hope that the 
following quotations will help to make his position clear to those who 
question it : 

" The army of liberal thought is at present in very loose order : and many a 
spirited freethinker makes use of his freedom mainly to vent nonsense. I, for one, 
lament that the bench of Bishops cannot show a man of the calibre of Butler of 



A REVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 285 

the ' Analogy,' who, if alive, would make short work of much of the current 
a priori infideUty." (m. v. 121. 1869.) 

" Of all the senseless babble I have ever had occasion to read, the demonstra- 
tions of those philosophers who undertake to tell us all about the nature of God 
would be the worst, if it were not surpassed by the still greater absurdities of the 
philosophers who try to prove that there is no Ood." (I. v. 245. 1874.) 

"If the belief in God is essential to morality, physical science offers no 
obstacle thereto ; if the belief in immortality is essential to morality, physical 
science has no more to say against that doctrine than the most ordinary experi- 
ence has, and it effectually closes the mouths of those who pretend to refute it by 
objections deduced from merely physical data." (IX. m. 143. 1886.) 

" Scientific Naturalism leads not to the denial of the existence of any Super- 
nature ; but simply to the denial of the validity of the evidence adduced in favor 
of this or that extant form of Supematundism." (V. i. 89. 1892.) 

'' The supposition that there is any inconsistency between the acceptance of 
the constancy of natural order and a belief in the efficacy of prayer, is the 
more unaccountable as it is obviously contradicted by analogies furnished by 
experience. Nobody can presume to say what the order of nature must be • • • . 
It is this weighty consideration which knocks the bottom out of all a priori ob- 
jections either to ordinary * miracles * or to the efficacy of prayer so far as the 
latter implies the miraculous intervention of a higher power." (V . rv. 188. 1887.) 

So far is science from denying the possibility of miracles, that we (the men 
of science) " have any quantity of genuine miracles of our own." (V. n. 81.) 

We venture to believe that Huxley's attitude regarding these ques- 
tions will be a surprise to many who think they have read his works 
with diligence ; and that others who already understand his position 
so far as these subjects are concerned will be much perplexed to find 
that he has " nothing to say " to any philosophy of evolution except 
that, in his judgment, all such attempts are " premature." (V. L 41.) 
He continually calls himself an "Evolutionist," and he can hardly 
blame a reader who, failing to draw nice distinctions, regards him as 
one of the great pillars in the temple of the new philosophy. A good 
deal of confusion may be permitted to those who remember his lectures 
in New York on evolution ; his various essays with the same title ; 
and the statement in his Autobiography that the work of his life has 
involved him " in an endless series of battles and skirmishes over evo- 
lution." It is easy for one who understands his true position to see 
that the essays lend no coimtenance to the opinion that he has ever 
been, or sought to be, either a pillar or a disciple of any system of 
philosophy, but that he has, on the contrary, never ceased to affirm his 
total ignorance of many of the questions with which philosophy seeks 
to deal His " evolution " is not philosophy, but science. It deals 
with history, and not with logic ; with the phenomenal world, and not 
with the question wbat may or may not lie behind it 



286 , A REVIEW OP HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 

During the last century natural science has become historical ; the 
attributes of living things, which seemed to the- older naturalists to be 
entire and independent in themselves, have proved to have a history 
which can be studied by the methods of science : they have been found 
to be steps in a long sequence of events as orderly and discoverable as 
those dealt with by astronomy or geology. The cultivation of natu- 
ral science in this historical field, and the discovery of evidence that 
the present order of living nature is the sequence and outcome of older 
and simpler conditions of things, is not philosophy, but scienca It 
involves no more belief in the teachings of any system of philosophy 
than does the knowledge that we are the children of our parents and 
the parents of our children, but it is what Huxley means by " evolu- 
tion." (V. I. 44-54.) The New York lectures on Evolution, with the 
exception of the first, which treiits of the natural history of opinions 
regarding the history of living things, deal with palaeontology, and 
narrate facts which are to be found in the text-books on this subject ; 
but natural science, as it is taught in the text-books on botany, zo9logy, 
and palaeontology, is, most assuredly, no " Philosophy of Evolution." 

One word in its time plays many parts, and the word " evolution " 
has had many meanings. To-day, in popular estimation, an " Evolu- 
tionist " is not a follower of Bonnet, nor one who is concerned with the 
binomial theorem or with the evolutions of fleets or armies : neither is 
he a cultivator of natural scienca Whatever the word may have 
meant in the past, it has, in popular speech, come to mean a belief in 
that Philosophy of Evolution which, according to such evolutionists as 
Huxley, is prematura Since this is so, and since the changes in our 
vernacular are beyond individual control, would it not be well for 
those who stand where Huxley stands, and have " nothing to say " to 
any Philosophy of Evolution, to stop calling themselves Evolutionists 
and to be content with the good old name of " Naturalist " ? 

The essays which make up the nine volumes of the new edition 
treat of many subjects, and we must examine them in detail ; but they 
are not a miscellany, for they are all strung on one thread. Through 
all of them runs one increasing purpose, which has grown with the 
author's growth and strengthened with his strength; the purpose to 
teach, like Descartes, that — 

— " there is a path which leads to truth so surely that any one who will follow it 
must needs reach the goal, whether his capacity be great or small. And there is 
one guiding rule by which a man can always find this path and keep himself 
from straying when he has found it. This golden rule is : Give unqualified 



A REVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 287 

aaaent to no propositions but those the truth of which is so clear that they cannot 
be doubted." 

The essays are so far from a miscellany that they remind one of a fair 
landscape stretching from the nigged heights of controversy over 
meadows filled with the flowers of literature, and through fields and 
orchards loaded with the ripe fruits of science, all vitalized by a clear 
stream, sometimes welling up in great gushes of truth, sometimes wan- 
dering in silence under the verdure which it nourishes, but always 
there for all who wish to drink of it All the essays either set forth 
the results which have been won or may be hoped for from the appli- 
cation of this golden rule, or else they teach our moral obligation to 
suspend judgment on questions to which we are unable to apply it, 
however great our desire for answers. In the long run their value will 
depend on the success which attends this purpose, — the purpose to 
which their author tells us he liad subordinated whatever hope he may 
have had of scientific fame ; but thev have other claims to considera- 
tion. All are good reading ; in all we continually come across pro- 
found truth put into words so apt and pithy that we store them away 
in our minds as pennanent additions to our stock of wisdom : 

"I have never been able to form the slightest conception of those 'forces' 
which the Materialists talk about as if they had samples of them in bottles." 
(IX. m. 13.) 

'* Fact I know, and Law I know : but what is this Necessity, save an empty 
shadow of my own mind's throwing? . . . There are impossibilities logical, 
but none natiu^." (V, vi. 197.) 

"To quarrel with the uncertainties which beset us in intellectual affairs 
would be about as reasonable as to object to live one^s life with due care for the 
morrow, because no man can be sure he will be alive an hour hence." (V. vi. 206.) 

" Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools, and the beacons of wise 
men." (I. v. 244.) 

" The only freedom I care about is the freedom to do right ; the freedom to 
do wrong I am ready to part with on the cheapest terms.** (I. iv. 93.) 

Among the essays a few are so notable, so simple and interesting, 
so full of knowledge, and so " safe " or free from controversial issues, 
that they must delight all readers. Before long we should have in a 
handy volume those on " The Advisableness of Improving Natural 
Knowledge," " The Progress of Science," and one or two other selec- 
tions. To compare these with the essays on " Lord Clive " and " War- 
ren Hastings " hardly does them justice, for they not only give us the 
finished work of a master, but with this the best fruit of the medita- 
tions of a philosopher. It is certainly not the least of Huxley's claims 
to our gratitude that he has thus enriched our literature. 



888 A REVIEW OF HmCLFTS ESSAYS. 

Three volumes (IL, VLL, and VILL) are almost entirely devoted to 
reviews, for general readers, of the chief results of progress and discov- 
ery in the province of biology. Even at the present day, thirty years 
and more after they were written, I know nothing in English, to which 
to refer the unscientific reader for a summary of the broad outlines of 
zoology, morphology, and embryology, better than the " Six Lectures 
to Working Men on our Knowledge of the Causes of the Phenomena 
of Organic Nature " (IL xi. 1868) ; nothing better on the principles 
and results of research in palaeontology than the " Lectures on Evolu- 
tion " (IV. III. 1876) ; and, most assuredly, nothing better in anthro- 
pology than " Man's Place in Nature " (VIL i. 1868). Many students 
have told me that they owe the awakening of their interest in science 
to one or the other of these three essays, which have had great value 
as stimuli, and even greater value as general reading. It is true that, 
however novel their substance may have been when they were deliv- 
ered, it is now familiar to all educated persons ; but I cannot agree 
with Huxley that " my young contemporaries might employ their time 
better than in perusing " these old essays. My own feeling is that the 
loss from my library of whole shelves of text-books would concern me 
less than to miss '^ Man's Place in Nature " from its accustomed comer. 

All thoughtful students will prize the essays and addresses on 
Education which make up the third volume of the " Collected Essays." 
When written, these were regarded by most readers as special pleas for 
scientific education ; but nothing could be farther from the truth, al- 
though the prominence of " science " in their titles gives some groimd for 
this impression. Those who read them now, after scientific education 
has become an assured fact, will find that Huxley shows here, as else- 
where, that he is no radical seeking to sweep away the ancient land- 
marks, but an enthusiastic admirer of all that is best in the old, as well 
as a zealous advocate for the new in education. "While he improves 
every opportunity to set forth the need for scientific education, he tells 
the student that he is a man and a citizen as well as a student ; and 
the delights and the discipline of literature and art and history are em- 
phasized again and again ; and each essay is a plea for liberal culture, 
although he never fails to demand the removal of the accumulated ashes, 
and the rekindling of the pure flame, until the very air the student 
breathes shall become *' charged with that enthusiasm for truth, that 
fanaticism of veracity, which is a greater possession than much learn- 
ing ; a nobler gift than the power of increasing knowledge." 

No one — ^Huxley least of all — ^would dream of attributing the 



A REVIEW OP HrrXLEVS ESSAYS. 289 

" New Reformation " to any one man, and he speaks of himself as " a 
full private who has seen a good deal of service in the ranks " of the 
army ranged around the banner of physical science ; but the object to 
which he tells us he has devoted his life — ^the diffusion among men of 
the scientific spirit of " organized " " common sense " — ^has made nota- 
ble progress during his lifetime, and in this assurance he tells us at its 
end that he " shall be content to be remembered, or even not remem- 
bered," as one among the many who have brought it about 

The controversial articles, which have done more to spread Huxley's 
fame than all his other works, fill several volumes of the series, although 
he himself expresses grave doubt of the advisability of reprinting them. 
No man of science who pursues in good repute studies which were re- 
cently under suspicion can be unmindful of his great debt to Huxley ; 
but he who runs may now read the signs that the laboratory and the 
text-book will soon be able to hold peaceful possession of fields which 
have been won by science militant 

" Even parish clerks doubt the utility of prayers for rain so long as the wind 
is in the east ; and an outbreak of pestilence sends men, not to the churches, but 
to the drains. In spite of prayers for the success of our arms, and Te Deuma for 
victory, our real faith is in big battalions and keeping our powder dry." 

This being the case, we are disposed to think that the controversial 
essays, " however appropriate at the time of their utterance, would 
find a still more appropriate place in oblivion." Those whose' interest 
is in Huxley's personality must read them to learn what manner of 
man he waa If he had confined himself to research, his audience 
would have been smaller, for men love a fight It is possible, as he 
suggests, that some who came to see hard knocks remained to think, 
and we who enjoy the freedom for which he fought so bravely must re- 
member his gallant fearlessness with gratitude ; but " few literary dishes 
are less appetizing than cold controversy," and the original editions 
of these controversial essays seem adequate to the legitimate demand. 

We now come to the essays which are of most value to students : 
those which deal with the development rather than the application of 
the " method of using one's reason rightly " in the search for trutk 
Among them are the whole of VoL VL, "Hume; with Helps to the 
Study of Berkeley " ; as well as the one " On Descartes' Discourse 
Touching the Method of Using our Eeason Eightly ; and of Seeking 
Scientific Truth " (L IV.), and many others, such as " Possibilities and 
Impossibilities " (V. YL 1891), and " Scientific and Pseudo-Scientific 



290 A REVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS^ 

Realis.i" (V. IL 1887). The opening paragrapli of the book on 
Hume's Philosophy (VL 57) may be taken as a statement of the 
purpose of all these essays : 

** Kant has said that the busmess of philofiophy is to answer three questions : 
What can I know ?— What oug^ht I to do ?— and, For what may I hope ? But it is 
pretty plain that these three resolve themselves in the long run into the first. For 
rational expectation and moral action are alike based upon belief ; and a belief is 
void of justification unless its subject-matter lies within the boundaries of pos- 
sible knowledge, and unless its evidence satisfies the conditions which experience 
imposes as the guarantee of credibility. . . . Fundamentally, then, philosophy 
is the answer to the question. What can I know? " 

Huxley is not drawn into this province by the fierce joy of contro- 
versy, nor by any desire to join those who flit forever over the dusky 
meadows, green with asphodel, in vain search for reality. His motive 
is the most practical and serious one we know, — " to learn what is true 
in order to do what is right" This, he tells us, " is the summing up 
of the whole duty of man, for all who are not able to satisfy their men- 
tal hunger with the east wind of authority." The conclusion of the 
whole matter is that " there is but one kind of knowledge and but one 
method of acquiring it" This is the melody which runs through all 
the nine volumes ; now loud and clear, now hidden by the minor inter- 
est of a scientific topic, or by the heat of controversy, or by the charm 
of literary genius ; but always present, and easy — ^for one who listens — 
to detect It is because scientific education helps us to acquire the 
method of using our reason rightly in the search for truth, and not 
because science is the one thing worth knowing, that he pleads for it so 
eloquently. It is because the improvement of natural knowledge is 
conclusive testimony to the value of this method that he devoted his 
life to the popularization of science. It is because his right to use this 
method — ^the right which is also the highest and first of duties — ^was 
disputed, that he entered the stormy waters of controversy. 

'' If I may speak of the objects I have had more or less definitely in view, 
. • . they are bri^fiy these : To promote the increase of natural ^owledge, 
and to forward the application of scientific methods to all the problems of life, to 
the best of my ability, in the conviction, which has grown with my growth and 
strengthened with my strength, that there is no alleviation for the sufferings of 
mankind except veracity of thought and action, and the resolute facing of the 
world as it is when the garment of make-believe with which pious hands have 
hidden its uglier features is stripped off." 

To what nobler end could life be devoted than the attempt to show us 
how we may *' learn to distinguish truth from falsehood, in order to be 



A REVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 291 

dear about our actions and to walk surefootedly in this life ? " If- he 
has succeeded (and every zoologist who is free to follow Nature wherever 
she lead is a witness that he has succeeded) ; if, as the end of his life- 
long labor, intellectual freedom is established on a firmer basis, — ^this 
is his best monument, even if the man should quickly be forgotten in 
the accomplishment of his end. No memorial could be more appro- 
priate than the speedy establishment of that intellectual liberty which 
is not intellectual license on a basis so firm that the history of the 
stnaggle to obtam it shaU become a forgotten antiquity. 

Since I began this account of the new edition of Huxley's essays, 
word has been brought, through the daily papers, that his work is 
ended. As I review them with this in mind I find it hard to refrain 
from wondering which of them will do most to keep him in remem- 
brance ; but this is not the end for which he labored, and the specula- 
tion is unworthy of the example of the man who walked his path in 
life with no thought to any footprints on the sands of tima Whether 
his earnest faithfulness over a few things do or do not make him ruler 
over many things, his life needs no completion and no monument 

" No need hath such to live as ye name life. 
That which began in him when he began 
Is finished : he hath wrought the purpose through 
Of what did make him Man.*' 

Huxley's life-long devotion to the task of teaching the right method 
of using our reason in the search for truth has been so fruitful that the 
success or failure of his attempts to teach the application of this method 
to specific problems is a matter of very subordinate importance. 

As he was not only a man and a citizen, but, above all, a naturalist, 
peculiar interest attaches to his utterances on the problems of biology, 
although his various essays on this subject differ so much in perspec- 
tive that their effect upon many thoughtful readers has prov^ to be 
practically equivalent to inconsistency. It is easy to show that in this 
case, as in others, the responsibility rests with the reader and not with 
the author ; but, however this may be, the opinion that his utterances 
are inconsistent is real, and therefore a proper subject for examination. 

Huxley's frame of mind in 1864 is embodied in the essay " On the 
Educational Value of the Natural History Sciences " (IIL IL), from 
which I copy the following passage (p. 43) : 

** What is the cause of this wonderful difference between the dead particles 
and the living particleB of matter appearing in other respects identical?— that dif« 



•' 



292 A REVIEW OF HUXLEY^ ESSAYS. 

ference to which we give the name of Life ? I, for one, cannot tell you. It may- 
be that, by and by, philosophers will discover some higher laws of which the facts 
of Ufe are particular cases,— very possibly they wiU find out some bond between 
physico-chemical phenomena on the one hand and vital phenomena on the other. 
At present, however, we assuredly know of none ; and I think we shall exercise 
a wise humility in confessing that for us, at least, . . . this spontaneity of 
action . . . which constitutes so vast and plain a distinction between living 
bodies and those which do not live is an ultimate fact : indicating, as such, the 
existence of a broad line of demarcation between the subject-matter of biological 
and that of all other sciences.*' 

Between 1854 and the publication of the essay " On the Physical Basis 
of Life," in 1868, natural science advanced with strides which have no 
parallel, and the " Origin of Species " brought about a revolution in 
our conception of the history of living natura It is not surprising 
that Huxley's point of view also undergoes significant change, and that 
a new aspect of nature now excites his interest and absorbs his atten- 
tion. The establishment of the doctrine of the continuity of life on a 
firm basis, and the acceptance of the generalization that all living 
things are related by birth, had given new meaning to the familiar 
truth that they are all fundamentally identical in structure ; and the 
essay of 1868 deals with this aspect of living organism. The essay is 
regarded by many readers — ^both those who look upon it with horror, 
and those who make it the basis of a biological creed — ^as contradictory 
to the essay of 1854, but I, for one, am unable to find in it any basis 
for this opinion. Its motive — ^the truth that " protoplasm is the formal 
basis of life " ; that " it is the clay of the potter, which, bake it and 
paint it as he will, remains clay, separated by artifice and not by nature 
from the commonest brick or sun-dried clod " — is no novelty. In fact 
the essay is nothing more than a statement in modem terms of the 
new evidence which modem science furnishes in confirmation of the 
familiar conviction that, so far as his physical basis is concerned, man 
hath no preeminence above the beasts ; that they all have one breath ; 
that all flesh is grass ; that it is the rain on the earth which causes the 
bud of the tender herb to spring forth ; that as for the earth, it giveth 
us bread ; that the vital spark is soon quenched unless it is kept alive 
by fuel from without ; that the living machine must soon break down 
and wear out, and that then shall return the dust to the earth as it waa 
Huxley says : " Past experience leads me to be tolerably certain that 
when the propositions I have just placed before you are accessible to 
public comment and criticism, they will be condemned by many zeal- 
ous persons, and perhaps by some few of the wise and thoughtful," 



A REVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 293 

Those who remember the reception of the essay are aware that this 
expectation was not disappointed ; but it is hard to understand why, 
for its substance, if not its modem language, has been the common 
property of some of the wise and thoughtful for ages. 

I do not see why any one should challenge Huxley's statement that 
" it seems to me that we are logically bound to apply to protoplasm or 
the physical basis of life the same conceptions which are held to be 
legitimate elsewhera If the phenomena exhibited by water are its 
properties, so are those presented by protoplasm its properties." We 
may have practical objections, based on expediency and not on logic, 
to the further statement that " we live in the hope and in the faith that 
by the advance of molecular physics we shall by and by be able to see 
our way as clearly from the constituents of water to the properties of 
water as we are now able to deduce the operations of a watch from the 
form of its parts and the way they are put together." Faith and hope 
are good things no doubt, and " expectation is permissible when belief 
is not " (VJLLL VUL 1870) ; but experience teaches that the expectation 
or faith of the master is very apt to become belief in the mind of the 
student, and " science warns us that the assertion which outstrips evi- 
dence is not only a blunder, but a crima" (IIL rv. 150. 1880.) In 
order to avoid all danger of adding to the criminal classes it is perhaps 
as well for those who are teachers to keep their faith outside the labora- 
tory as much as possibla 

With this qualification I have nothing but approval for the passage 
quoted, as well as for the rest of the essay. Like Huxley I hold that 
we are logically bound to apply to protoplasm the same conceptions as 
those which are held to be legitimate elsewhera Without believing, I 
certainly see no reason for doubting, that all the properties of organisms 
may possibly be some day deduced from the nature and disposition of 
their constituent molecides. If I should live to see this proved, I 
should believe it without remodelling any beliefs I now hold, for 
most assuredly I do not believe that these activities are the result of 
anything else than physical structura I simply do not know, and 
have no belief whatever on the subject, although I welcome every 
addition to our knowledge of the properties of the physical basis of 
life, in the conviction that this knowledge is a necessary condition for 
progress. I must also insist, however, that nothing seems more obvious 
to me than that we might study the form of the parts of a watch, and 
the way they are put together, till the crack of doom, without under- 
standing it in any sense worthy of the nama To understand it we 



294 A REVIEW OP HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 

must study not only its mechanism and the movements to be deduced 
from it, but the movements of the earth as well : and then we must 
study a third thing, — ^that relation between the two which fits a watch 
for man's servica I hold that, in this sense of the word, we can 
" understand " watches, and that good common sense forces us to admit 
not only that the fitness of a watch is real, but that it is the only basis 
for a rational interest in watches. Analogies are dangerous weapons, 
because of our fondness for pushing them farther than the facts warrant, 
and for assuming that resemblance in one feature involves resemblance 
ii* other features. The fact that living things are like watches in their 
fitness, in their adjustment to the phenomena of the external world, at 
once suggests many interesting questions with which I have no inten- 
tion of dealing. This particular resemblance is obvious, and I hold 
that, whatever may be possible to the zoologist of future ages, the only 
method of studying this fitness which is available at the present day is 
like that which we apply to watches. Huxley says : 

" If the properties of water may be properly said to xesult from the nature 
and disposition of its component molecules, I can find no intelligible ground for 
refusing to say that the properties of protoplasm result frotn the nature and dis- 
position of its molecules.'* 

I know no reason why any one should " refuse to say " this, except 
that " the assertion which outstrips evidence is a crima" When it has 
been prpved, I, for one, shall say it cheerfully : but I cannot forget that 
we have been taught for two thousand years and more that life is not 
a property of the physical basis like the properties of water, but a rela- 
tion, an adjustment between the properties of the organism and those 
of the environment, between internal relations and external relations : 
that this adjustment serves to promote the welfare of the species, and 
that we know nothing comparable to it in water or in anything else 
except living beings and their products — such as watches, and spiders' 
webs and birds* nests. 

The author of our oldest work on zoology opens it with the follow- 
ing statement of its purpose : 

''To say what are the ultimate substances out of which an animal is 
formed ... is no more sufficient than would be a similar account in the case of 
a couch. For we should not be content with saying that the couch was made 
of bronze or wood, or whatever it might be, but should try to describe its 
design or mode of composition in preference to the material. ... It is plain 
that the teaching of the old physiologists is inadequate, and that the true method 
is to state what the definitive characters are that distinguish the animal as a 



A REVIEW OF HUXMTTS ESSAYS. 295 

whole, • • • in foct, to proceed in exactly the same way as we should do were we 
giving a complete description of a couch" (or a meat jack). (Aristotle, " Parts 
of Animals," L I.) 

If this is true : if life is not a property like those of water, but an ad- 
justment between properties, it must be clear that no amount of know- 
ledge of any properties of the physical basis except the property of 
fitness can ever give us a science of life, although it must be equally 
clear that knowledge of all its properties is a necessary condition for 
progress. My comment on the essay " On the Physical Basis of Life " 
is that, while I fully agree with it, I hold with Aristotle that it is " in- 
adequate," although I am quite prepared to admit the possibility that 
this inadequacy may be due to our own limitations, and not to the 
nature of the subject While I find nothing in the essay which need 
give any one a moment's " nightmare," I am equally unable to find in 
it any warrant except " faith " for the dogma that biology — the science 
of life — ^now is, or is at all likely soon to be, the study of the physical 
and chemical properties, or any other property except fitness, of the 
phjrsical basis. 

The partial failure of training in biological laboratories to make 
naturalists of the students, or to excite in them that interest in the 
homes of living things which has so often proved a greater delight 
than art or literature ; its failure to stimulate the investigation of those 
relations between animals and plants and the world around them which 
constitute life, — ^has b^un to attract attention and to excite comment 
Among the many reasons assigned for this failure, " microtomes " have 
occupied a prominent place and have been held to be the seat of the 
mischief, although no one can treat seriously the assertion that we can 
have too many or too refined means for research into structure From 
long acquaintance with many students and from much discussion with 
them I have satisfied myself that the belief that our biology (the bi- 
ology of the present day, and not that of the unknown future) ends 
with the study of the structure and functions of the physical basis — 
the belief that biology is " nothing but " the discovery of its physical 
and chemical properties — ^has much to do with it My experience also 
tells me that the essay ^^ On the Physical Basis of Life " is appealed to 
as a scientific warrant for this belief, although we have seen that it 
ajB&rms nothing more than a '^ hope '^ for this consummation. 

This ground was all worked over before Aristotle's day, and perhaps 
it may not be too much of a flight of the imagination to inquire what 
he might have thought of this essay. Do not his reflections in the 



296 A REVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 

" Parts of Animals " warrant the assertion that his conunent would be 
something like this ? — 

'* Your natural science inteiests nae more than anything else in your modem 
world ; and your century is distinguished beyond all others for progress in the 
history of life. I am delighted with this essay, and no other pleasure could com- 
pare with that which I should find in a course of study on the properties of living 
things with the aid of your appliances for research ; but are you quite sure that 
the whole case is stated in the essay ? While clay is the physical basis of the 
l)otter's art, its essence is fitness for the use of man : and what concerns us is not 
that he uses clay, but that he makes from it now a foundation-brick and now an 
ornamental coping ; now a homely kitchen pot, and now a graceful urn. I have 
studied your wonderful chronometers until I am ' able to deduce the operations of 
a watch from the form of its parts and the way they are put together,* but I 
failed to understand it until I perceived that relation between its movements and 
those of the earth which constitutes its fitness for man*s service. I tried, long 
ago, to show that something very similar is true of living things. We may some 
time be able to foresee or deduce all their actions from their structure, but at 
present, as in my own day, the only available way to understand them is to study 
their relations to the world around them. 

*' My teaching that the essence of a living being is not what it is made of, nor 
what it does, but why it does it, has been well rendered by one of your contem- 
poraries into the statement that life is the continuous adjustment between internal 
and external relations. If this is true, is not the biology which restricts itself to 
the physical basis, and forgets the external world, like your play of ' Hamlet' 
without the Hamlet. Is not the biological laboratory which leaves out the ocean 
and the mountains and meadows a monstrous absurdity ? Was not the greatest 
scientific generalization of your times reached independently by two men who 
were eminent in their familiarity with living things in their homes ? 

'* You ask, ' What better philosophical status has vitality than aquodty ?' — 
and I ask you in turn what better status has volition than vitality ? — ^yet you find 
the employment of this word both useful and justifiable. You can separate 
water into its elements, and then, by recombining them, you can get water again ; 
and this you may repeat as often as you choose : but can you, as yet, do any- 
thing of the sort with living things ? When by the methods of the laboratory 
you have made a living being ; when you have made not merely protoplasm, — ^nor 
even protoplasm capable of nutrition, growth, reproduction, and contraction, — but 
protoplasm able to maintain persistent adjustment to the shifting world around it, 
— then, and not till then, will I admit that my word ' vitality ' (^;i:'7)has reached 
the end of its long career of usefulness. 

" I admitted long ago that it is as much a property of a bird to build a nest 
as it is a property of water to freeze ; but our interest in the nest lies in its fitness 
for maintaining the species. I hear it said among you that science has nothing 
to do with the Why ? but only with the How ? ; but we can surely give answers 
to the questions ' Why do men make and buy watches?' — ' Why do birds pursue 
their prey?'— * Why do they fiee their enemies?' — and 'Why do they make 
nests?' — answers which are good and sensible, although they are incomplete. 

'* The naturalists of your day are adding continually to the overwhelming 
evidence of a truth which was unsuspected in mine, — ^the mutability of species 



A REVIEW OF HUXLEYT3 ESSAYS. 291 

and the oontinuity of life. If I could now publish a new edition of the ' Parts of 
Animals,' I should treat with more consideration than they seemed to merit two 
thousand years ago the views of my contemporaries who held that extermination 
and Burviyal have a good deal to do with fitness, but I should still contend that 
the study of fitness is the true aim of biology.". 

This comment on the cnirent interpretation of the essay on " The 
Physical Basis of Life " seems to me to be good conmion sense, and 
therefore good science: and it also seems to me to be a legitimate 
application of the teachings of the " Parts of Animals." 

Huxley makes many references to the problems of biology in later 
essays, but space will permit us to examine none except the last In 
1894 I find certain Prolegomena (IX. i. 1894) in which it is easy to 
read between the lines clear indications that, notwithstanding the period 
represented by the essay on " The Physical Basis of Life," Huxley 
ended as he began, — ^almost, if not altogether, in the old-fashioned 
conviction that living things do, in some way and to some degree, con- 
trol or condition inorganic nature ; that they hold their own by setting 
the mechanical properties of matter in opposition to each other, and 
that this is their most notable and distinctive characteristic. He says 
the flora of the region where he writes was in a " state of nature " until 
three or four years before, when th< 



— " state of nature was brought to an end, so far as a small patch of soil is cou- 
oemed, by the intervention of man. The patch was cut off from the rest by a 
wall. ... In short, it was made into a garden. ... It will be admitted that 
the garden is as much a work of art or artifice as anything that can be mentioned. 
The energy localized in certain human bodies, directed by similarly localized 
intellects, has produced a collocation of other material bodies which could not 
be brought about in a state of nature. The same proposition is true of all the 
works of man's hands, from a flint implement to a cathedral or a chronometer : 
and it is because it is true that we call these things artificial, term them works 
of art, or artifice, by way of distinguishing them from the products of the cosmic 
process, working outside man, which we call natural, or works of nature. The 
distinction thus drawn between the works of nature and those of man is univer- 
sally recognized, and it is, as I conceive, both useful and justifiable." 

I trust that the thoughtful reader will perceive that the legitimate 
pursuit of this line of reflection leads straight back to the Aristotelean 
statement, in the essay of 1854 (IIL ii. 40), that " to the student of 
life (as contrasted with the student of physics) the aspect of nature is 
reversed. Here incessant, and, so far as we know, spontaneous change 
is the rule : rest the exception — ^the anomaly to be accoimted for. 
Living things have no inertia and tend to no equilibrixun." 



298 A REVIEW OP HUXLEY^ ESSAYS. 

Many biologists find their greatest triumph in the doctrine that the liv- 
ing body is a " mere machine " : but a machine is a collocation of matter 
and energy working for an end, not a spinning toy; and when the 
living machine is compared to the products of human art, the legiti- 
mate deduction is that it is not merely a spinning eddy in a stream of 
dead matter and mechanical energy, but a little garden in the physical 
wilderness; that the energy localized in limng bodies, directed by simi- 
larly localized vitality, has produced a collocation of other material 
bodies which could not be brought about in a state of physical nature, 
and that the distinction thus drawn between the works of non-vital 
nature and those of life is both useful and justifiabla 

What this distinction may mean in ultimate analysis I know no 
more than Aristotle or Huxley ; nor do I believe that any one ever 
will know until we find out One thing we may be sure it does not 
mean, — ^that the living world is anything but natural : for all men of 
science must agree with Aristotle (" Parts of Animals," IlL IL 16) 
that "in all our speculations therefore, concerning nature, what we 
have to consider is the general rule " (not forces, or causes, or neces- 
sary laws). " For that is natural which holds good either universally or 
generally." * If we are to understand this fitness which is so distinctive 
of living things, this must be brought about, not by keeping it locked 
out of sight as a chamber of horrors, but by bringing it into the bright 
light of day ; by " intending the mind " upon it ; by attacking it with 
Descartes* method of using one's reason rightly for the discovery of truth. 
Whether this method is or is not adequate, we shall know when we 
find out ; but we have no other, and the discoveries of Wallace and 
of Darwin give a basis, not for a belief, but for a hope that it may some 
day prove adequate. 

Times are changed since Huxley warned his hearers in 1868 that, in 
accepting protoplasm as the physical basis of life, he was " placing his 
foot on the first rung of a ladder which, in most people's estimation, is the 
reverse of Jacob's and leads to the antipodes of heaven." Now " Scien- 
tific Rip Van Winkle " and " Aristotelean " are the mildest phrases 
applied to him who holds that life is more than a basis, — to him who 
doubts whether the essay states the whole or even the most essential 
part of the case ; and he is lucky if he is not told that he is a " Spirit- 
ualist," " false to the spirit of Science," or at the very least that he 
is " illogical" In this case he can only say with Huxley (IX. 10. 

> See also Huxley, VU. 154. <* Nature means neither more nor less than that 
which is.*' 



A REVIEW OF HUXLEY'S ESSAYS. 299 

1894) that " if it is urged that the . . . cosmic process cannot be in 
antagonism with that . . . which is part of itself, I can only reply that 
if the conclusion that the two are antagonistic is logically absurd, I am 
sorry for logic, because, as we have seen, the fact is so," or, as Aristotle 
expresses it, " it holds good." 

My own interest in this distinction is entirely practical and not 
philosophical Whatever philosophical basis it may have or may not 
have, it seems to me that no one can question its practical bearing on 
the study of biology at the present day and for many ages to coma If 
it is urged that our knowledge of the external world is destined to be 
resolved, in the long run, into our consciousness of changes in the physi- 
cal basis of our minds, and that the " external world " to which plants 
and animals respond is also to be resolved into changes in their physical 
basis, I am quite willing to admit this possibility ; but I hold it unwise 
to forget that the same daily experience which justifies our confidence 
in the orderly sequence of external nature also warrants the assump- 
tion that their external world is the same as ours. The question of its 
reality or imreality has no more to do with this purely practical con- 
fidence than has the presence or absence, in a dog or an oak-tree, of 
conscious belief in it 

Those who hold the faith that science will some day be able to 
demonstrate, in the structure of the brain, the origin of such actions as 
writing a review of Huxley's essays, are quite welcome to their faith ; 
but I hold, as a purely practical matter, that they may find out in a 
much shorter way why I have written this article ; and I also hold that 
this is likely to be the case for some considerable tima I also believe 
with Aristotle that the most practical way within our reach of study- 
ing that adjustment between the organism and the external world — 
that fitness — which constitutes life, is to learn all we can about the physi- 
sical basis and all that we can about its fitness ; and I hold fast to this 
purely practical belief without any faith in the unknown biology of 
the distant future, and most assuredly without any desire to discount it 

W. K Brooks. 



PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 

To judge from the tone of the popular press, the country would 
seem to be between the devil of-^-state interference and the deep sea of 
gold. The two epithets, "plutocracy" and "paternalism," so freely 
applied, are intended to characterize the worst tendencies of the times 
in these two opposite directions, and are calculated to engender the 
bitterest feelings in the public mind. If such a thing were possible, 
it would certainly be useful, standing aloof from the contest, to make 
a cool, unbiassed analysis of the true meaning of these terms in their 
relation to the existing^ state of affairs. While it may be admitted 
that this is impossiblefsuch an approximation to it as the conditions 
will allow can certainly do no harm. 

On all subjects that interest mankind there are extremes of thought, 
and these form a sort of penumbra outside the general consensus of 
opinion among right-mind^ peopla While most persons consider the 
possession of wealth a rightful condition and a laudable aim of life, 
there are some who accept Proudhon's dictum, " lapropri/U e^est h vol," 
and nearly all shades of opinion between these may be found. The 
average man desires to see the business interests of society left free and 
open to equal competition, but there are those who would have the 
state conduct all industry and make all citizens salaried employees. 

dition has always existed very much as it is to-day. On the whole there 
seetlis to be little danger that any of the extremes of popular opinion 
will ever prevail, but at the same time there is always a moderate, often 
rhythmic, drift in some one direction, so that what were extremes are 
SO no longer, and other unthought-of schemes occupy the van. It is 
this that constitutes social progress. 

Justly or imjustly, society has made wealth a measure of worth. It 
is easy on general principles to prove that it is not such a measure. 
Every one is personally cognizant of numerous cases to the contrary. 
All will admit that, taken in the abstract, the principle is unsoimd, and 
yet all act upon it Not rationally, not perhaps consciously, but still 
they do it It is " human nature " to respect those who have, and to 



PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 301 

care little for those who have not There is a sort of feeling that if one 
is destitute there must be a reason for it It is inevitably ascribed to 
^ some personal deficit In a word, absence of means is, in one form or 
another, made to stand for absence of merit Its cause is looked for in 
character. This is most clearly seen in the marked contrast between 
the indisposition to help the unsuccessful, and the wiUingness to help 
the successful Aside from the prospect of a quid pro qxw^ no one 
wants to waste tifne, energy, or money on what is worthless, — and 
possession is the primary test of worth 

It would be easy to work out the genesis of this sentiment, and to 
show how it is the natural result of the universal competition in society, 
where the fittest to survive is always the one who can gain possession 
of the greatest amount of this world's goods. It has therefore a rational 
basis, a substratum of truth on which to rest We are chiefly concerned 
with it here as a fact It is universal Those who most thoroughly 
condemn it are influenced by it The force that works against it in 
society is not the absence or weakness of the sentiment itself, but 
anol^^ and wHoUy dissixnilar feeling, vi.. sympathy. This sentixnent 
is not rational, but illogical, as shown by the fact that men give alms to 
satisfy temporary want rather than opportunity to supply permanent 
needs. But of the other sentiment, which may be called " plutolatry," 
— the worship of wealth, — even the victims show traces, and in de- 
nouncing the rich they imconsciously attribute to them a personal 
dignity proportional to their wealth. 

Thus it comes about that wealth, in the existing state of society, is 
a tremendous power. It gives not only ease, plenty, luxury, but, what 
is infinitely more, the respect of all and the envy of the less favored. 
It gives, in a word, superiority ; and the strongest craving of man's 
nature is, in one way or another, to be set over his fellows. When all 
this is considered, the futility of the proposal of certain reformers to 
eradicate the passion for proprietary acquisition becomes apparent It 
may be assumed that this passion will continue for an indefinite period 
to be the ruling element of the industrial stata That it has done and 
is still doing incalculable service to society few will deny. That it may 
continue to be useful to the end of our present industrial era will 
probably be admitted by all but a small clasa 

If the accumulation of wealth, even for the benefit of individuals, 
were all that is involved in the term " plutocracy," the indictment would 
not be serious. If the governing power implied in the last component 
of the word were nothing more than the normal influence that wealth 



302 PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 

exerts, no great injury to society could accrua Even the amassing of 
colossal fortunes is not an evil in itself, since the very activity which it 
requires stimulates industry and benefits a large number. There is, it 
is true, a danger— in the transmission of such fortunes to inactive and 
non-productive heirs — of creating a non-industrial class in perpetuity ; 
but this could be remedied, without hardship to any worthy person, by 
a wise limitation of inherilLxca 

So much for plutocracy. Let us now turn to the other pole of public 
opinion and inquire into the meaning of "paternalism." Literally, 
of course, paternalism in government would be restricted to cases in 
which the governing power is vested in a single person, who may be 
r^arded as well-disposed and seeking to rule his subjects for their 
own good, as a father governs his children. But a ruling family, or 
even a large ruling class, may be supposed to govern from similar mo- 
tives. Li either case the governed are not supposed to have any voice 
in the matter, but are cared for like children by the assumed wisdom 
of their^ruleW How far from t^e patemaLa is anything that 
exists in this or any other civilized country to-day may therefore be 
readily seen. No one will claim that there is any danger, in a repre- 
sentative government with universal suffrage, of any such state being 
brought about This shows at the outset that the term is not used in 
its original and correct sense, but is merely borrowed and applied as a 
stigma to certain tendencies in republican governments which the 
users of it do not appro va What are these tendencies? Li gen- 
eral it may be said that they are tendencies toward the assump- 
tion by the state of functions that are now entrusted to private 
enterprise. 

On the one hand it is logically argued that the indefinite extension 
of such powers wpuld eventuate in the most extreme socialistic system, 
-^the conduct of all business by the state. On the other hand it is 
shown with equal logic that the entire reUnquishment of the functions 
which the state has already assumed would be the abolition of govern- 
ment itsell The extremists of one party would land us in socialism ; 
those of the other, in anarchy. But on one side it is said by the more 
moderate that the true function of government is the protection of 
society; to which it is replied by the other that such extension of gov- 
ernmental powers is in the interest of protection, viz., protection 
against the undue rapacity of private enterprise. Here, as almost 
everywhere else in the realm of politics, it is a question of quantity 
and not of quality. It is not a difference in principle, but in policy. 



PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 303 

It is the d^ree to wliicli the fundamental principle of all goyemment 
is to be carried out 

If we look for precedents and historical examples we find great 
diversity. If we take the question of government telegraphy we find 
that the United States is almost the only country in the civilized world 
that has not adopted it, while the reports from other countries are practi- 
cally unanimous in its favor. That such a movement should be called 
paternalism is therefore quite gratuitous, and must spring from either 
pecuniary interest or unenlightened prejudica Prom this on, up to 
the question of abolishing the private ownership of land, there is a 
multitude of problems presenting all shades of difference in the degree 
to which the principle of state action is to be applied in their solution. 
They need to be fearlessly investigated, coolly considered, and wisely 
decided in the true interests of the public. It was not the purpose of 
this article to discuss any of these questions, but simply to mention 
them in illustration of the popular use of the term **patemalism." It 
is clear that that term is employed solely to excite prejudice against the 
extension of the functions of the state, just as the term "plutocracy" is 
used to arouse antagonism to the wealthy classes. The words have in 
these senses no natural meaning, and, with intelligent persons, should 
have no argumentative weight 

Are there, then, no dangerous or deleterious tendencies in modem 
society ? There certainly are such, and they may be said to be in the 
direction of both plutocracy and paternalism, giving to these terms not 
a literal, but a real or scientific meaning, as denoting respectively the 
too great power of wealth, and the too great solicitude for and foster- 
ing of certain interesia on the part of government 

The first law of economics is that every one may be depended upon 
at aU times to seek his greatest gain. It is both natural and right that 
the individual should be ever seeking to acquire for himself and his ; 
and this rather irrespective of the rest of the world. It was so in the 
olden time, when physical strength was almost the only forca It is so 
to-day, when business shrewdness is practically suprema Government 
was instituted to protect the weak from the strong in this universal 
struggle to possess ; or, what is the same thing, to protect society at 
larga Originally it was occupied solely vrith abuses caused by brute 
forca It is still, so far as this primary function of enforcing justice is 
concerned, practically limited to this class of abuses, relatively trifling 
as they ara Crime still means this, as it did in the days of King Arthur, 
and as it does to-day in barbaric countries. Any advantage gained 



804 PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 

by force is promptly met by the law ; but advantage gained by cunning, 
by superior knowledge, — ^if it be only of the technicalities of the law, — ^is 
not a crime, though its spirit be as bad as that of highway robbery and 
its consequences a thousand times worsa 

From this point of view, then, modem society is suffering from the 
very opposite of paternalism, — from under-govemment, from the failure 
of government to keep pace with the change which civilization has 
wrought in substituting intellectual for physical qualities as the workers 
of injustice Government to-day is powerless to perform its primary 
and original function of protecting society. There was a time when 
brigandage stalked abroad throughout Europe and no one was safe in 
life or property. This was due to lack of adequate government Man's 
nature has not changed, but brigandage has succumbed to the strong 
arm of the law. Human rapacity now works in subtler ways. Plutoc- 
racy is the modem brigandage and can be dislodged only by the same 
power, — the power of the stata All the evils of society are the result of 
the free flow of natural propensities. The purpose of government is, 
as far as may be, to prevent this from causing injustice The physical 
passions of men are natural and healthy, but they cannot be allowed 
to go unbridled. Government was established, not to lessen or even 
to alter them. Exactly the same is needed to be done with the higher 
acquisitive faculty. It need not be condemned; it cannot be sup- 
pressed : but it can and should be directed into harmless ways and 
restricted to useful purposes. Properly viewed, too, this is to secure 
its maximum exercise and greatest freedom, for unrestrained license 
soon leads to conflict, chokes its own free operation, and puts an end 
to its activity. The true function of government is not to fetter but to 
liberate the forces of society, not to diminish but to increase their 
effectiveness. Unbridled competition destroys itself. The only com- 
petition that endures is that which goes on under judicious regulation. 

If, then, the danger of plutocr^y is so largely due to insufficient 
government, where is the tendency to paternalism in the sense of too 
much government ? This opens up the last and most important aspect 
of the subject If there were no influences at work in society but 
those of unaided nature ; if we had a pure physiocracy or government 
of nature, such as prevails among wild animals, and the weak were 
thereby sacrificed that the strong might survive to beget the strong, and 
thus elevate the race along the lines of evolution, — however great the 
hardship, we might resign ourselves to it as part of the great cosmio 
scheme. But unfortunately this is not the case. Without stopping to 



PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM- 305 

show that, from the standpoint of a civilized society, the qualities 
which best fit men to gain advantage over their fellows are the ones 
least useful to society at large, it will be sufficient for the present pur- 
pose to point out that in the actual state of society it is not even those 
who, from this biological point of view, are the fittest, that become in 
fact the recipients of the greatest favors at the hands of society. This 
is due to the creation, by society itself, of artificial conditions that de- 
stroy the balance of forces and completely nullify all the beneficial 
effects that are secured by the operation of the natural law on the 
lower plana Indeed, the effect is reversed, and instead of develop- 
ing strength, either physical or mental, through activity incident to 
emulation, it tends to parasitic degeneracy through the pampered 
idleness of the favored classes. 

What, in the last analysis, are these social conditions ? They are 
at bottom integral parts of government They are embodied in law. 
Largely they consist of statute law. Where this is wanting they rest 
on judicial decisions, often immemorial, and belonging to the fer non 
scriptcL In a word, they constitute the great system of jurisprudence 
relating to property and business, gradually built up through the ages 
to make men secure in their possessions and safe in their business trans- 
actions, but which in our day, owing to entirely changed industrial 
conditions, has become the means of throwing unlimited opportunities 
in the way of some and of barring out the rest from all opportunities. 
This system of artificial props, bolsterings, and scaffoldings has grown so 
perfect as to make exertion needless for the protected class and hopeless 
for the neglected mass. In a word, it has become the bulwark of monop- 
oly. Says Pro£ John R Conunons in his ** Distribution of Wealth " : 

" The heads of industries are no longer the independent Napoleons of finance ; 
they find their sphere as high-salaried managers and legal advisers, while the suc- 
cessors of the entrepreneurs proper, the original organizers and promoters of en- 
terprises, are simply the commonplace, idle recipients of the permanent profits 
and the mildly fluctuating temporary profits. • . . Instead of the profits being 
due to the powerful exertions and abilities of the captains of industry, they are 
due to certain fixed social relations and rights. The recipients of these incomes 
may with perfect security become idlers and drones. They abdicate their func- 
tions as entrepreneurs into the hands of salaried chiefs and advisers. They are no 
longer performing the services of society which were performed by their ancestors 
or predecessors, who organized and developed the business to which they have 
succeeded.** 

And thus we have the remarkable fact, so persistently overlooked 

in all the discussions of current questions, that government, which fails 
20 



806 PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 

to protect the weak, is devoting all its energies to protecting the strong. 
It legalizes and promotes trusts and combinations ; subsidizes corpora- 
tions, and then absolves them from their obligations ; sustains stock- 
watering schemes and all forms of speculation ; grants without com- 
pensation the most valuable franchises, often in perpetuity ; and in 
innumerable ways creates, defends, and protects a vast array of purely 
parasitic enterprises, calculated directly to foster the worst forms of 
municipal corruption. The proofs of each one of these counts lie about 
us on every hand. Only those who are blinded by interest or preju- 
dice can fail to see them. 

There is no greater danger to civilization than the threatened ab- 
sorption by a few individuals of aU the natural resources of the earth, 
so that they can literally extort tribute from the rest of mankind. If 
half a dozen persons could get possession of all the breadstufEs of a 
country, it would justify a revolution. Fortunately, from the nature 
of this product, this is impossible, although long strides in that direc- 
tion have from time to time been taken. But it is otherwise vrith some 
other products which, if less indispensable, are stiU among the modem 
necessaries of lifa All the petroleum of this country is owned by a 
single trust If men could not live without it there is no telling how 
high the price would be raised. Nothing limits it but the question of 
how much the public will pay rather than do vrithout That indis- 
pensable product, coal, has well-nigh reached the same stage through 
the several railroad combinations that now control it That which costs 
sixty cents to mine, and as much more to transport, cannot be obtained 
by the consumer for less than five or six dollars. Does it speak well 
for the common sense of a great people that they should continue to 
submit to such things ? There seems to be no remedy except in the 
power of the nation. 

It is time, too, that the people began to look into the great question 
of transportation. If a thorough investigation should show that the 
hour is not yet come for the public management of the vast enterprises 
involved, it would at least show, as it has done in England, France, 
Germany, and nearly all the other countries of Europe, that they are in 
need of thorough and systematic regulation. Does any one, for example, 
suppose that there is any permanent advantage in the railroad rate- wars 
that are so frequently waged in this country? The low cut-rates are 
always of short duration, and the result is the ultimate combination of 
the interests involved, usually followed by higher rates than before. 
And why should several companies be allowed to build parallel lines 



PLUTCK5RACY AND PATERNALISM. 307 

between the same points, like the three between Philadelphia and 
Atlantic City, when one is abundantly sufficient to supply the traffic ? 
Is it not clear that the public must pay this unnecessary expense? 
Woidd it be any infringement of human liberty for the state to forbid^ 
the construction of a railroad ior the sole purpose of being sold to 
another that had no use for it except to get it out of its way ? In France 
nothing of the kind is allowed, and the railroad system of that country 
is imder strict and rational state regulation ; yet no one complains of 
oppression. 

One of the greatest needs of an industrious people is a safe and 
profitable investment of their surplus earnings. In the existing 
condition of things they are driven into the stock-market In a few 
rare cases the stocks taken prove good. In still rarer cases — such as 
the first telephone shares — ^they become enormously productiva But 
in the great majority of cases they first fluctuate and finally fall below 
par, often to a mere nominal valua There seems to be nothing to 
prevent the directors of these concerns from manipidating the shares 
so as first to enrich themselves and then to leave the business a wreck. 
Witness the degeneracy of the great Thompson-Houston Electric 
Company, its absorption of other properties, its passage into the General 
Electric Company, the suspension of dividends, and the fall of -the stock 
to thirty-five cents on a dollar. It may be said that those who choose 
to risk these losses should suffer for their folly. But there is nothing 
that is safe. Savings banks are even more precarious, for here failure 
results in total loss to the depositor. And there seems to be nothing 
to prevent the legal authorization of all kinds of investment schemes 
to tempt the public to entrust them with its money, imtil the organizers 
think they have all they want and can afford to " fail " and retire vrith 
it If the state cannot really require a safe guaranty to investors, or 
prohibit such insecure organizations, it can at least offer, in the form 
of national savings banks, an opportunity for prudent people to make 
a safe disposition of their surplus funds ; and this has been done in 
nearly every country except the United States. 

One of the most crying evils of the times is the reckless manner in 
which the most important franchises are being given away. The 
following statement made by Mr. W. C. Dodge, President of the 
Associated Charities of the District of Columbia, in his annual address 
of December, 1891, has not, to my knowledge, been answered or denied. 
It is to be taken merely as a sample of what is going on throughout 
the country : 



308 PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 

** Here are seven street railroad companies, two gas companies, two telegraph 
companies, two telephone companies, and one electric-light company, not one of 
which gave a cent for their valuable franchises, and the whole amount of taxes 
paid by these fourteen corporations the past year is but (98,321.45, — a mere trifle 
•as compared with the value of their franchises and the profits drawn by them 
from the public. Some have never paid in the full amount of their capital stock, 
and yet pay dividends and extend their works from their profits, while the stock 
of others is quoted on the market as from 100 to 400 per cent premium.** 

It is well known that in almost every country of Europe these 
franchises, based on "natural monopolies," are made to constitute one 
of the principal sources of revenua 

The " burning question " of our day is the reform of municipal 
government The evils complained of all result from the same cause 
83 the national evils already enumerated, which is at bottom the indiflEer- 
ence of the citizen to what is being done by self-seeking individuals. 
Here, as everywhere, personal greed is laying the public imder tributa 
Individualism is suprema Party politics are shrewdly brought in to 
obscure public interests, and behind this veil abuses go unperceived. 
The cities, as well as the nation at large, need to wake from the lethargy 
of laissezfairej and to take matters into their own hands. They would 
do well to begin with a study of the recent policy of the London County 
Council, and, if they doubted its efficacy, they would only need to pay 
a visit to the "Greater London." Some idea of what tiiere is to be 
learned in this direction is given in a paper read by Mr. Sydney Webb, 
in August last, before the British Association for the Advancement 
of Scienca 

The very possession of wealth is only made possible by govern- 
ment The safe conduct of all business depends upon the certain 
protection of law. The most powerful business combinations take place 
under legal forms. Even dishonest and swindling schemes, so long as 
they violate no penal statute, are protected by law. Specidation in 
the necessaries of life is legitimate business, and is upheld by the 
officers of the law though it result in famine ; and even then bread 
riots are put down by the armed force of the stata Thus has society 
become the victim of its own system, against the natural eflEects of 
which it is powerless to protect itsell It has devised the best possible 
scheme for satisfying the rapacity of human natura 

And now, mark : The charge of paternalism is chiefly made by the 
class that enjoys the largest share of government protection. Those 
who denounce state interference are the ones who most frequently and 
successfully invoke it The cry of laissez /aire mainly goes up from 



PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 809 

the ones who, if really "let alone," would instantly lose their wealth- 
absorbing power. 

A significant example of this is found in some of the provisions of 
the so-called Pooling Bill In a paper read by the Hon. Carroll D. 
Wright before the American Economic Association in December last, 
he characterizes this as " state-socialistic," and says : 

" This pending legislation is demanded at the instance of the shippers and 
the railroads of the country, and its passage is being aided by a powerful lobby 
in their service. The railroads base their advocacy of the bill on the claim that it 
will be for the interest of the shippers to have such a law." 

And he predicts that it will be followed by a demand that the 
government shall take charge of the roads and guarantee dividends to 
the stockholders. He further says : 

" AU this will be at the demand and in the interest of the railroads and of the 
shippers, and not of the labor involved in carrying on the work of transportation, 
as the demand of to-day for the enactment of Hie pooling bill is alleged to be 
largely in the interest of the shippers and the public welfare.*^ 

Nothing is more obvious to-day than the signal inability of capital 
and private enterprise to take care of themselves unaided by the state ; 
and while they are incessantly denouncing " paternalism," — ^by which 
they mean the claim of the defenceless laborer and artisan to a share 
in this lavish state protection, — ^they are all the while besieging legis- 
latures for relief from their own incompetency, and " pleading the baby 
act " through a trained body of lawyers and lobbyists. The dispensing 
of national pap to this class should rather be called " matemalism," to 
which a square, open, and dignified paternalism would be infinitely 
preferable. 

Still all these things must be regarded as perfectly natural, that is, in- 
herent in the nature of man, and not as peculiar to any class. Therefore 
personalities and vituperation are entirely out of placa It is simply a 
question of whether they are going to be permitted to go on. The 
fault is altogether with the system. Nor should any one object to 
state protection of business interests. Even monopoly may be 
defended against aggressive competition on the ground of economy. 
The protection of the strong may not be too great, but there should be 
at the same time protection of the weak against the protected strong. 
It is not the purpose of this article to point out remedies, but tendencies, 
and it seems clear that right here are to be located the two greatest 
dangers to modem society. Here lies the only plutocracy, and here 



310 PLUTOCRACY AND PATERNALISM. 

the only paternalism. The two are really one, and are embodied in the 
joint fact of state-protected monopoly. 

The degree to which the citizen is protected in the secure enjoy- 
ment of his possessions is a fair measure of the state of civilization, but 
this protection must apply as rigidly to the poor man's possessions as 
to those of the rich man. In the present system the latter is not only 
encouraged, but actually tempted to exploit the former. Every trust, 
every monopoly, every carelessly granted franchise, has or may have 
this effect, and the time has arrived when a part at least of this paternal 
solicitude on the part of government should be diverted from the 
monopolistic element and bestowed upon the general public. If we 
must have paternalism, there should be no partiality shown in the 
family. 

Lester F. Ward. 



WOMAN'S POSITION IN PAGAN TIMES. 

I HAD beard so many times, both in and out of the pulpit, that 
woman owed to Christianity her social elevation and the amelioration 
of her lot, that I had come to accept it as a truism. At all events it 
had never occurred to me to question the postulate until, one day, 
I read in the '*6ermania" of Tacitus that among the ancient 
Teutons a kind of sanctity seemed to pertain to women. Truly 
remarkable, considering the time when it was written, is the state- 
ment that the German women were not permitted to regard them- 
selves as standing outside the world belonging to the men, nor were 
they unconcerned in their warlike pursuits. 

I fancy I detect here a little fling at the ladies of the writer's 
own day, the astonishing variety of whose toilet articles we may 
yet admire in the Pompeiian Museum at Naples. Nothing, I should 
judge, was of more serious import to these damsels than their frivoli- 
ties; and in the art of beautifying themselves they have been emu- 
lated, but not excelled, by their sisters of later date. If the exquisite 
and elaborate care of one's physical self is (as has been gravely con- 
tended) the crucial test of civilization, then civilization reached its 
climax about the age of Tiberius, and the feminine half of mankind 
has been retrograding rather than advancing in the last nineteen 
centuries. But to my mind the test is a flimsy one, and I could 
easily, if that were my present business, propose one more worthy 
of consideration. If the above statement of Tacitus is to be trusted, 
I am inclined to believe that the Germans, amid all the rudeness of 
a pastoral and militant life, possessed elements of a higher civili- 
zation than the fastidious and over-reflned Bomans. The chief 
evidence of this superiority is, I think, to be found in their attitude 
toward women. 

This very question as to whether women should or should not 
regard themselves as standing outside the world belonging to the men 
has been noisily debated, and is continually reemerging for fresh 
debate when we think it has been finally disposed of. 

Among the ancient Germans it had not yet reached the stage of 



312 WOMAN'S POSITION IN PAGAN TIMES. 

controversy, because, apparently, men conceded all that women 
demanded. There is to me something very noble in the comradeship 
of husband and wife which appears to have existed among these 
rude and hardy warriors, — a comradeship half resembling that of boy 
and girl before the consciousness of «ex has markedly differentiated 
them. Not even from the tribal council were women excluded. 
Tacitus expressly states that they were attentively listened to, and 
that their advice was never left unheeded. I was once inclined to 
suspect a bit of courteous exaggeration in this, induced by the writer's 
desire to emphasize the contrast between the weight of personality 
and serious worth of the barbarian women and the flimsy frivolity 
of his own countrywomen. But a deeper study of Germanic pa- 
ganism convinced me that the suspicion was unfounded. Paganism 
in the North did, undoubtedly, tend to evolve sturdier types of 
womanhood than Christianity has done ; and it accorded a recogni- 
tion to female intelligence which Christianity has been far slower in ac- 
cording. Largely, to be sure, the rude conditions incident to pastoral 
life, interrupted by frequent wars and migrations, were responsible 
for the sagacity, the readiness of resource, and the splendid courage 
which the daughters of Germany seem to have exhibited, a thousand 
years ago, in a far higher degree than they do to-day. For all that, 
I cannot but think that the Oriental view of womanhood, implied in 
the Bible, has had an enormous influence in forcibly checking the nor- 
mal development. The Catholic church not only adopted, but im- 
mensely exaggerated the disabilities under which the sex had labored 
in Semitic lands; and the result was that the free-bom, sagacious, and 
nobly self-dependent daughter of the Teutonic forests was dwarfed, 
subdued, and spiritually crippled until she became the commonplace, 
insignificant, obedient Hausjrau of to-day. 

There is something exceedingly attractive to me in the picture of 
the tribal chiefs, with their wives and mothers grouped upon the 
earthen floor about the fire, deliberating concerning the affairs of 
the commonwealth. I seem to see the tall, brawny warriors, whose 
shaggy blonde heads and stubborn blue eyes looked so terrible to 
the puny Italians, and the paintings of Thumann and Piloty have 
aided me in divining their female counterparts. Where will you 
find a type of more splendid matronly dignity, or more defiant 
majesty of womanhood, than the latter's " Thusnelda" ? Where such 
noble and healthful simplicity and vigor as in the former's Teutonic 
maidens in " Hermann's Return from his Victory over the Bomans"? 



WOMAN'S POSITION IN PAGAN TIMBS. 313 

They have a fine, free, out-of-door air about them, and that sturdy, 
half -boyish candor which is so touching in the face of a girl. They 
have never heard of St. Paul's injunction that woman should not 
speak in meeting; and they utter with a full sense of responsibility 
grave, well-considered words upon which the fate of the tribe may 
hang. If (as Tacitus informs us) they were attentively listened to, 
we may be sure it was not from gallantry, but because they had some- 
thing weighty and valuable to say. Gallantry came into the world 
with chivalry over a thousand years later. Now, without invidious 
comparison, permit me to ask if such a scene or anything equivalent 
to it would be possible to-day? 1 am, of course, making allowance 
for the extreme simplicity of the government of the German village 
communities ; and I shall not, therefore, ask if women are tolerated in 
cabinet meetings or councils of state. But even in town meetings or 
communal councils I believe that their presence would now create a 
sensation. If, for all that, they have, since the days of Maintenon 
and Pompadour, wielded a considerable political influence, it has 
usually been of an unacknowledged and subterranean kind, of which 
they have had cause to be ashamed. And, truth to tell, their train- 
ing, or, if you choose, their lack of training, and the character which 
this lack of training has developed, would to-day make them ill- 
adapted for any serious business in which prudence and deliberation 
were of prime import. It would be an exaggeration, perhaps, to 
maintain that Christianity is alone responsible for this undoubted 
degeneration of womanhood, as regards civic worth, weight of person- 
ality, and strength of character ; but that it has been the strongest 
of a number of cooperating factors is beyond dispute. Social refine- 
ment, increased security of life, — in a word, civilization, with its 
changed ideals, — ^is responsible for the rest. And the two are so 
closely intertangled that it is impossible to say where the one begins 
and the other ends. 

It is customary to comprehend under the term "chivalry" that 
radical change of sentiment which about the time of the Crusades, or 
a little earlier, began to revolutionize the social position of woman. 
The frank and unsentimental comradeship of pagan antiquity was 
superseded by an exaggerated, mawkish, and artificial homage which 
implied a lessened respect under the mask of a heightened one. Only 
two feminine virtues came to be regarded as important, viz. , chastity 
and piety ; and so far as the Germans are concerned there is no disguis- 
ing the fact that beyond this point they have never since advanced. 



314 WOMAN'S POSITION IN PAGAN TIMEa 

The Emperor William II. (if he has not been misquoted) is, to be 
sure, liberal enough to recognize a third virtue, viz. , skill in cooking. 
Woman's sphere, he said recently, is bounded by the three K*& — 
Kirche, Kuche, Kinderstube (church, kitchen, nursery). It did not 
trouble him to consider how untrue he was to the best German tradi- 
tion in making this foolish declaration. What kind of women can 
you expect to foster in the mingled fumes of nursery, church, and 
kitchen? Simple, devout creatures, no doubt, — pious, higher domes- 
tics, who will bear children meekly and be profoundly at the service 
of their lords and masters. It would be the wildest folly to expect 
any free and noble flowering of a soul thus narrowly circumscribed, 
and it is small blame to the victims of such a system if they fail to 
exhibit the qualities which we have for seven hundred years been at 
pains to suppress in them. 

It is against the worn-out ideals of the age of chivalry that the 
women are now beginning to revolt; and although I am aesthetically 
shocked at their rebellion, my intelligence justifies and approves it. 
Let them reconquer the right to be physicians, surgeons, priestesses, 
and, if they like, prophetesses, — all of which they were during pagan 
times. Let them emerge from their historical swaddling-clothes, and 
move their limbs and tiieir souls with happy freedom and grace. I 
am aware, of course, that to a limited extent they have already recon- 
quered these ancient privileges ; but the few daring pioneers enjoy 
but a chary recognition on the part of society at large, and for this 
very reason they have been apt to develop their pugnacity at the ex- 
pense of their charm. Such would not be the case if they felt them- 
selves to be as normal and natural phenomena as their colleagues 
of the masculine gender. 

I cannot close the present reflections without correcting the very 
general misconception that during pagan times the position of women 
was practically that of slaves. It will, perhaps, surprise many to 
learn that the legislation regarding marriage and divorce was in 
Iceland and Norway far more mindful of the wife's interest than 
it has ever been during the Christian era. The old Icelandic law 
stipulated, for instance, that if a man were divorced from his wife 
(even though she were the offending party) he had to return her 
dowry intact. Divorce was legally obtainable if both parties desired 
it, and the law did not, as in Christian times, insist upon publicly 
humiliating and disgracing every man and woman who in youthful 
folly had committed themselves to a choice which made every breath 



WOMAN'S POSITION IN PAGAN TIMES. 315 

a blight upon the face of life, and the hours a burden to be dragged 
through the weary length of day. Love was not held to be woman's 
only concern. Marital a£Eection was rarely of the wildly romantic 
sort, but a mutual hearty good -will, esteem, and devotion, often 
amounting to tenderness, bred by habit and a community of interests. 
There are in the Sagas a few sublime instances of romantic attach- 
ments; as in the touchingly beautiful tale of ^'Gunlaug Serpent- 
Tongue and Helga the Fair." But they are relatively exceptional. 
What strikes one above all in the women of the Norse Sagas is their 
admirable practical efficiency and their passionate absorption in the 
quarrels, rivalries, ambitions, and feuds of their husbands, sons, and 
brothers. Generally speaking, love was not all of life to them, but 
an episode, though a highly important one. But it did not engross 
and possess them to the exclusion of all other interests. Primarily 
they were human beings; secondarily, women. As members of the 
family and the clan, they were as much concerned in the turbulent 
politics of the period as those who wielded the sword; nay, they were 
only too often the instigators of the fearful internecine wars which 
devastated the land. A kind of heroic lawlessness and mighty 
power of will made them often terrible and at times sublime. We 
have to admire, even though we may not approve. Such formidable 
strength of personality and elemental force of character (for good or 
for ill) present a glaring contrast to the sweet, coy, but compara- 
tively insignificant women of the age of chivalry, who emphatically 
did " stand outside the world belonging to the men. " They dwelt 
much of the time in sequestered bowers, like Turkish houris, listened 
to love romances, attended the solemn buffooneries of the love courts, 
gossipped, embroidered, played chess, dreamed, sighed, and had 
stolen interviews with lovers. Their whole lives and emotions 
centred in the passion of love. They were sweethearts, wives, 
mothers (and probably fairly good ones) , but they were nothing else. 
They had no separate individual existence, no larger public interests; 
and their personalities were therefore, from generation to generation, 
reduced, impoverished, and dwarfed. Their sex gradually came to 
take precedence of their humanity, which is the most disastrous thing 
that can happen to any creature, male or female: 

It may perhaps be impertinent to ask to what extent European 
and American women of to-day have emancipated themselves from 
this feudal ideal. The novelists, who not unfairly reflect public 
opinion, are yet tolerably unanimous in representing love as the one 



316 WOMAN'S POSITION IN PAGAN TIMES. 

dominant and overshadowing concern in a woman's life. Most of 
them are also inclined to ridicule any member of the sex who aspires 
to wider spheres of activity. We fill the brains of our daughters 
with current conventional catchwords, as we fill their pockets with 
the current coin of the Bepublic, and it would no more occur to most 
of us to furnish them with the materials for forming independent 
opinions than it would to supply them with the tools for coining 
their own money. So long as this system remains in vogue, the 
happy comradeship between men and women which prevailed in 
pagan times is out of the question. For you cannot make a comrade 
of a cackling flirt, or a simpering fashion-plate, or an amiable echo. 
Until we cease to teach our girls the pernicious folly that they are to 
live only to love, they will, in my opinion, not be worth loving, — 
besides being exceedingly trying to live with. 

Hjalmab Hjobth Boyesen. 



STUDIES OP NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOPP. 

The assafismation of ex-Premier Stamboloff, of Bulgaria, last July, 
removed from the scene of his activities the most remarkable person- 
ality" in southeastern Europe. Opinions as to his worth differ, and 
perhaps always will ; but that he was a very remarkable man no think- 
ing person can for a moment doubt The stormy history of new Bul- 
garia is rich in heroic names, but in achievements and just renown no 
name rises higher than that of Stefan Stamboloff. He was bom to 
lead and to command ; a man of tremendous force of character, in- 
domitable will, and, in pursuing his plans, original, fearless, and tire- 
less. Built after the pattern and of the stuff of which Nature builds 
greatness, his strength and his weakness, his virtues and his vices, were 
alike great A man, in fact, — 

— " whose genius was such, 
We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much." 

It was by no accident, therefore, that his murder, at the early age of 
forty-one, created such a profound sensation throughout the civilized 
world. 

Stefan Nikoloff Stamboloff was bom Pebmary 12, 1854, at Tmovo, 
the ancient capital of Bulgaria. There he passed his boyhood, during 
which period of his life his fertile imagination was fired by the rem- 
nants of the ancient greatness of his enslaved country. At Tmovo he 
also received his primary education. When about seventeen years old 
he went to Eussia and entered a theological seminary in Odessa, where 
he remained about three years. As a student " he showed a remark- 
able aptitude for learning, but his industrial moods were fitful and 
irr^ular." At length he left (some say that, owing to his total dis- 
regard of discipline, he was expelled) before quite completing his 
course, in order to join the insurrectionary bands in Boumania. 

And who were these people that allured young Stefan from his 
studies, and what was their aim? They consisted chiefly of three 
classes : first, true patriots, who on account of their patriotism were 



318 STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN : STAMBOLOFF. 

exiled, or had saved themselves by flight, from Turkey ; secondly, 
men who had suffered some personal or family wrong (such as father 
or brother killed, sister or sweetheart forcibly carried away, by the 
Turks) which had led them to vow eternal vengeance upon the race 
of their oppressors ; and, thirdly, regular outlaws, — ^half soldiers, half 
brigands, — whose love of fighting and plunder, as well as hatred of the 
Turk, had led them to make common cause with the genuine patriots. 
The headquarters of this motley crowd was the " Central Revolutionary 
Committee " at Bucharest, whose purpose was disguised under the 
name of the " Central Benevolent Committee." The aim of this or- 
ganization was to arouse the Bulgarian people to rebellion, in the hope 
of liberating their country from Turkish thraldom. With this end in 
view, from time to time small bands of them attempted with arms to 
force their way into Turkey; but the result of such attempts was 
always the same, — the utter destruction of the daring band, and the 
martyrdom of their sympathizers, real or suspected. Yet other bands 
followed in the same track, only to meet a similar fate. 

Another no less daring and even more romantic method of work 
for the same end was their so-called " apostleship." The " Apostles of 
Liberty " were a class of picked men, usually the most ardent and per- 
suasive speakers among the revolutionists, who were set apart and sent 
across the Danube to preach insurrection against the Turks. A more 
perilous life than theirs can scarcely be conceived. To be sure, they 
took some precautionary measures. Each '^ apostle " had an assumed 
name and garb, as well as an occupation which varied with the places 
he visited. Some of them were in turn merchants, farmers, foreign 
travellers, priests, and even Turks. They surrounded themselves with 
mystery, and they communicated their movements to the Central Com- 
mittee by special messengers. But, despite all disguises, they were 
hourly exposed to danger. All these preachers of the gospel of politi- 
cal liberty, therefore, looked to the gallows as their most probable goal 

Such were the men, the movement, and its agencies that allured 
young Stefan from the seminary in 1874, when Liuben Kixaveloff was 
the head as well as the soul of the insurrectionary idea, and Vasil Lev- 
sky, who had left the altar to become a revolutionist, was by merit the 
chief " apostle." The ardent nature, patriotic fervor, and restless spirit 
of Stamboloff fitted him for just such hazardous adventures. He at 
once joined the Central Revolutionary Committee, and threw his whole 
soul and tireless energy into its cause. Thus, although a mere youth 
of about twenty, he soon became one of the most important factors in 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOPP. 319 

the movement All his rare talents, which have since won for him a 
world-wide &me, then became manifest With his eloquence and 
original revolutionary songs he fired the organization to enthusiasm 
and greater activities. He presided at the sessions of the Fourth Ee vo- 
lutionary Assembly, and was elected one of the "Twelve Apostles." 
When Apostle Levsky was captured, and, after unspeakable tortures, 
was hung by the Turkish authorities at Sophia^ Stamboloff took his 
place, — a position whose greatest distinction was its great periL 

In 1875 " Apostle " Stamboloff tried ineffectually to raise in revolt 
the city of Stara-Zagora in Thracian Bulgaria. Upon its failure he 
saved himself by hiding in the Balkans, and afterwards by flight into 
friendly Boumania. But the next year, in spite of the vigUance of the 
government, he was again in Bulgaria, working with resolution and 
increased energy. 

In the spring of 1876 the insurrection of Bosnia and Herzegovina 
broke out, and the " apostles " made a desperate effort to raise a like 
one in Bulgaria, the partial success of which ended in the notorious 
Turkish atrocities. Yet this terrible failure proved a success in dis- 
guise ; the long-cherished purpose of the patriots was attained. The 
victims indeed were many, but not in vain. The massacre, filling the 
whole civilized world with horror and indignation against the Turk— 
** the anti-human spec^en of humanity " — ^led finally to the Eusso- 
Turkish war (1877-1878), which ended in the liberation of at least the 
most important part of Bulgaria. And had it not been for the interfer- 
ence of England, under Beaconsfield, every inch of our fatherland 
would to-day have been independent, and there would have been no 
" Macedonian Question." Only two " apostles," so far as I am aware, 
lived to see Bulgaria free, they were Stoyan Zaimoff and Stefan Stam- 
boloff, Thus, while in this Last venture almost every " apostle " per- 
ished, as happened several times before, Stamboloff again managed to 
escape with his life. 

After the liberation of Bulgaria, a still wider field was open for the 
display of his splendid talents ; and, owing to his high public services, 
he was justly popular in the country. He naturally joined the Liberals, 
who were then in opposition ; and when elected to the Sobranje as deputy 
for Tmovo, he distinguished himself from the first by that boldness 
which was at once the strength and the weakness of his character. 
When, for instance, a certain deputy, in advocating some government 
measure, mentioned, for the purpose of influencing his colleagues, that 
his measure was approved by the Prince himself, Stamboloff sprang 



320 STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFP. 

from his seat as if stung by a wasp, crying, " What Prince I We are 
the princes, the representatives of the people I " 

When, in 1884, the leader of the Liberal Party, Petko KaravelofE, 
— ^a brother of Liuben KaravelofE of revolutionary &me, — ^became 
Prime Minister, StambolofE succeeded him as President (Speaker) of 
the Chamber of Deputies. In the revolution of Eastern Eoumelia and 
the war with Servia, in 1886, he played an important but secondary 
part The leading actors during those critical and glorious events were 
Zacharia Stoyanoff, Petko Karaveloff, and Prince Alexander. Stam- 
boloff filled the important post of President of the National Assembly 
until the kidnapping of Prince Alexander gave him a chance to add 
one more to his list of heroic and historic achievementa 

Prince Alexander, the first Prince of new Bulgaria, was dethroned 
by the partisans of Tsankoff in order to propitiate Bussia, or rather to 
avoid the personal displeasure of the Czar. Briefly the situation may 
be thus described : Alexander IL gave us Prince Alexander. We be- 
lieve that he gave him to us to be our Prince, — the Prince of Bulgaria. 
Whatever may be said about Alexander IL of Bussia, Bulgarians will 
never beUeve anything but good of him. He was, and ever will be, 
our God-sent Liberator,^-our Saint Our Liberator, however, was soon 
afterward martyred, and his successor, Alexander LIL, disliked our 
Prince, because he ruled Bulgaria in her own ii^terest, and not in those 
of Bussia. Prince Alexander was a successful ruler, but, the more 
successful he was, the more he was hated at St. Petersburg. The Bul- 
garian Eussophik— called also, from the name of their chief, Tsanko- 
vists — very readily echoed this hatred at homa And this enmity and 
disloyalty produced what in Bulgarian history is known as " the Ninth 
of August " (0. S.), a black date, which plunged the country into 
adventurous experiments not yet terminated. 

During the night of August 9/21, 1886, some Bulgarian officers, 
whose unsatisfied ambition had rendered them easy tools of foreign 
designs, abducted Prince Alexander. With the aid of the treacherous 
Strouma Begiment and of the Academy cadets, which they personally 
commanded, the conspirators kept the Capital quiet, sent the Prince to 
Bussia as a prisoner, assumed the supreme command of the army, declared 
the country in a state of siege, and established themselves as masters 
of the PrincipaUly. Eveiy opposition was silenced by threats of instant 
arrest and sentence by coUrt-martial methods, severe and speedy; 
graver cases of disobedience were declared punishable by death within 
twenty-four hours. 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 321 

While the conspiracy seemed thus triumphant, there appeared, scat- 
tered broadcast throughout the country, a proclamation in the name of 
Prince Alexander, which denied the assertion that the Prince had vol- 
untarily abdicated, denounced the conspirators as traitors, and called 
on the people and the army to follow the " undersigned," and help, by 
overthrowing the newly established government, to wash out the na- 
tional shame. " The imdersigned " was, " S. StambolofE, President of 
the National Assembly." He had set up a counter-government at 
Tmovo, where the news of the event at Sophia had first reached him. 
All this Stamboloff had done on his own responsibility ; for he did not 
even know the whereabouts of the deposed Prince, or whether he was 
still alive. The boldness of the man took everybody's breath. Men 
first shuddered, then admired, then felt the manly impulse to follow 
and die \mder the righteous standard of so great a leader. Telegrams 
began to pour in from all sides : " We are with you." That part of 
the army which had not yet given its oath of allegiance to the govern- 
ment refused to give it ; and the other, finding itself deceived, declared 
likewise for Stamboloff and the Prince. On the second day, instead of 
being shot down, Stamboloff was supreme in Bulgaria ; and on the 
third he overthrew the government at Sophia and recalled the exiled 
Prince. It was by this brilliant and masterly stroke that Stamboloff 
introduced himself to the world. 

Prince Alexander came back, but, owing to the hostile attitude of 
Bussia toward him, abdicated soon after. ELaving obtained a promise 
from the Czar that Bulgaria should not be occupied by a Russian force 
"except in case of anarchy," Prince Alexander departed, leaving 
Stamboloff at the head of a Regency of three. Thereafter, for eight 
years, first as a Regent, and then as Prime Minister imder Prince 
Ferdinand, he, more than any other man, shaped the destinies of the 
PrincipaUty. 

The retirement of Prince Alexander from Bulgaria brought very 
different results from what Russia and her friends had anticipated. 
Instead of improving, the misunderstanding soon increased to the point 
of breaking off the relations between the two countries. The Czar sent 
a special envoy. General Kaulbars, to treat with the Regency. Kaul- 
bars — ^who either knew little or cared little for the feelings of the 
Bulgarians, especially for those of the Regent Stamboloff, who was as 
yet little known to the outside world — entered Bulgaria, not to treat with 
the Bulgarian Government, but practically to dictate to it the pleasure 
of the Czar. His arrogant, dictatorial bearing was resented by the 
21 



822 STTTDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 

Regents. Aided by the Tsankovists, the envoy then started to stump 
the country ; but Stamboloff sent his men on the General's track, and 
everywhere baffled his efforts. Then, in one of his fits of anger, 
Alexander UL recalled E^aulbars and all the Russian consuls from 
Bulgaria, and suspended relations between the two countries. 

Nothing could have been more provoking to Russia than the con- 
duct of the Bulgarian Government, which, instead of lamenting over 
the rupture, loudly congratulated itself on the good riddance of the 
Muscovite consulates, — "those nests of rebellion and disturbanca" 
The partisans of Tsankoff, and all the Russophils, feeling scandalized, 
became furiously active. They protested that " Bulgaria cannot exist 
without Russia " ; which proposition, following the illustrious example 
of Kaulbars, they undertook to demonstrate by inciting the people to 
rebellion in favor of Russia. And they actually succeeded in winning 
part of the army, which, in cities like Silistra and Rustchuk, rose in 
arms against the Regency. This made the situation exceedingly 
critical Stamboloff saw at a glance how these disturbances, purposely 
created by her friends, miffht be used by Russia as a pretext, and — 
before the world-as a juslScation, for ar^ed interferen^ in Bulgarut 
The prospect promised anything but good to Bulgaria's independence. 
Stamboloff no sooner saw the danger than he rose to the emergency, 
and met it with promptness, courage, and resolution. The revolt he 
put down with a merciless hand. Nine of the ringleaders in the Rust- 
chuk rebellion — ^among whom ^ere some distinguished officers — ^were 
shot down under sentence of court-martial three days after the event 
The blow was heavy and cruel; but it attained its object The 
Russophils were taught a much-needed lesson. They saw that Stam- 
boloff was not a man to trifle with, and, while some now b^an to 
hate and others to fear him, no one again attempted rebellion. Severe 
as these measures were, they were approved by the country. Stambo- 
loff was still by far the most popular man, while the name " Russophil " 
became synonymous with " traitor." Likewise the term " Black Souls " 
came into general use, — a name applied to the Bulgarian Russophils 
by Zacharia Stoyanoff, who was the right hand of Stamboloff, and the 
chief spokesman for the Administration. 

This led the friends of Russia to change their tactics. They were 
now fully persuaded that they could hope to accomplish nothing so 
long as this '^ tyrant" continued in power, and, having no fair means of 
dislodging him, they began to plot for his assassination. Such was the 
beginning, eight years ago, of that deed whose horror shocked the 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 333 

world last July. The first in the series of these infernal plots came to 
light in 1890. Its ringleader was Major Panitsa, a popular bravado, 
who was convicted of conspiring against the state, as well as against 
the lives of the Prince and the Prime Minister, for which purpose he 
had received encouragement and money from Russian sources. He 
was sentenced and shot in Juna But the next year StamboloS nar- 
rowly escaped assassination when the Finance Minister, Beltcheff, 
mistaken for the Premier in the dark, was kiUed by his sida 

StamboloS now acted more like a wounded tiger than a reasonable 
being. He practically proscribed all prominent Bussophils, many of 
whom were arrested ; and four of them, after a long trial, were con- 
demned to deatL One of these, Milaroff, was a man of some literary 
standing. Seven were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, — 
among them ex-Premier KaraveloS, whose term was fixed at five years. 
Throughout the whole of Europe indignant protestations went up 
against the results of the trial ; but StamboloS was not to be moved 
by threats or persuasions, and the quadruple execution took place 
June 14, 26, 1891, eight days after the passing of the sentencea 

The excesses he committed in punishing this crime cost our 
Dictator his popularity, marred the last years of his able administra- 
tion, and for a time obliterated from the short memory of the fickle 
populace his great public services. His treatment of E^araveloff 
probably best illustrates the ugliest side of StambolofiTs character. 
To Petko Elaraveloff — once the sole leader of the Liberty Party, and a 
very successful Prime Minister under Prince Alexander — Stamboloff 
owed much of his rapid elevation to power. But Ejiraveloff lost his 
great popularity and the leadership of his party at the abdication of 
Prince Alexandeir, in whose abduction he was suspected to have 
passively taken a part Although named by the Prince as one of the 
three Regents, Stamboloff, finding him too independent, soon ejected 
him and put in his place a man whom he could easily manage. Fallen, 
but not crushed, Elaraveloff — ^the ablest political rival of Stamboloff — 
was gradually r^aining his lost influence, when he was arrested on the 
chaige of Beltcheff's murder, and was actually sentenced to five years' 
imprisonment That Karaveloff had any part in the crime, none but 
Stamboloff and his judges believed. It appeared to some that 
Stamboloff put his rival in prison in order to have him out of his way. 
Nor could the intelligent overlook the fact that although Karaveloff 
was unfortunately a Russophil, he was more dangerous to Stamboloff's 
lunbition than to his country. Many of the Dictator's best friends were 



824 STUDlBd OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 

thus alienated from him. This event, in regard to Stamboloff s great 
downfall, may be called the beginning of the end, for thereafter he was 
Premier, not by the will of the people, but in spite of it Yet few dared 
openly to attack him. Indeed, he seemed to have paralyzed with terror 
the hand of despair itself, for although the upholder of his policy, Dr. 
Vulkovitch, was afterward assassinated by the Eussophils at Con- 
stantinople, so long as Stamboloff remained in power no more serious 
complots were heard of in Bulgaria. 

In the meantime, ever since 1887, Stamboloff had been earnestly 
engaged in establishing a dynasty for Bulgaria ; for he r^arded the 
Crown as one of the best safeguards of her independence. It was 
chiefly under his influence that the Grand Sobranje, which met at 
Tmovo, July (N. S.), 1887, elected Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg 
and Gotha ruler of Bulgaria ; and it was Stamboloff's strong arm that 
protected the Prince from attacks at home and abroad. He elected 
and maintained him in spite of the indifference of the world, and the 
open hostility and protestations of both Bussia and Turkey. After the 
betrothal of the Prince to the Princess Marie Louise of Parma, it was at 
his demand that, in 1898, the L^islature revised the Constitution so as 
to permit the new Princess to retain her Catholic faith. In other words, 
if Prince Ferdinand is to-day ruler of Bulgaria, and has an heir to the 
throne thereof, it is due above all to Stefan Stamboloff. Him will 
posterity have to thank— or blame — ^for the present Bulgarian dynasty. 

The fall of Stamboloff, in 1894, came rather unexpectedly. A few 
months earlier, no one would have believed it possible for some years 
to come. His enemies had credited him with a declaration to the 
effect that he was determined not to resign before he had been in 
power at least twenty years. I do not know whether he ever said such 
a thing, but it looked very much as if he meant it He had triumphed 
over sdl his enemies, and commanded respect abroad and obedience at 
home. Turkey, which was disposed to be hostile at the beginning, he 
had finally both overawed and conciliated. Bussia was passively 
awaiting the development of events ; her special agents no longer dared 
to cross the border of Bulgaria. Even the obstinate Bussophils, after 
exhausting all means, both fair and foul, had long since given up the 
fight, and had made themselves as scarce as possible in the oountry. 
There were no longer signs of discontent in the army ; no longer, in 
time of elections, voting for the Czar of Russia, or, indeed, for anybody 
but Czar Stamboloff's candidates. The Legislature never objected to a 
single measure of his, and the Judiciary was hardly more independent; 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN : STAMBOLOFF. 325 

the right of public meeting was suppressed; the opposition press, 
although restless, was to a great extent muzzled ; his energies were 
unexhausted, and his power unlimited. The abject crowd licked the 
dust before him, crying, " Long live StambolofE I " It looked as if he 
were destined to be captain of the ship of state for life. But the 
appearances were deceitful Deep down beneath the ken of the 
superficial on-looker lay the dynamite of popular discontent, waiting 
for an opportune hour to burst forth in fury against the Dictator. 
And the hour, hastened by Prince Ferdinand, came, sooner than the 
most sanguine hoped for. Whether because he was becoming restless 
under the overbearing manner of Stamboloff; or because he was 
jealous of his First Counsellor (who was getting all the credit for the 
government) ; or whether, finally, because by throwing overboard his 
great Minister the Prince hoped to purchase Bussian favor (which he 
craved for well-known reasons) I do not know. Certain it is that the 
relations between the two men had become very much strained ; and 
that, on StambolofE offering it, the Prince accepted his resignation. 
May 18/80, 1894 

The news of Stamboloff's downfall was greeted throughout the 
country with wild joy. " Down with the tyrant " became the common 
salutation everywhera On that day people seemed to have remem- 
bered his great faults alone ; and the fickle populace, that a day or 
two before was singing him loud hosannas, was now frantically yelling, 
"Crucify, crucify him I" The attack of the press was doubled 
and quadrupled ; for now every sneaking coward raised a loud outcry 
against "the tyrant" They brought forward every conceivable 
accusation against him, both true and false, and everybody believed 
everything. All political parties, which now reappeared at a bound, 
in hating "the Fallen Majesty" — as they not inaptly called him — 
became one. 

Stamboloff's popularity, which eight years before had attained a 
height never reached by any other Bulgarian leader, had now descended 
to the other extremity. The elections that followed, which were com- 
paratively free, did not return a single Stambolovist deputy. And the 
new Sobranje appointed a commission from among Stamboloff 's bitterest 
enemies to investigate the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors 
brought against his administration, — ^particularly for violating the Con- 
stitution and unlawfully enriching himself out of the public treasury. 

To avoid insult after his retirement, — ^knowing how intensely he 
was hated, and that the chiefs of the guardians of the peace were his 



326 STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 

bitter enemies, — he rarely ventured out of his housa He was, his foes 
said, a voluntary prisoner. Once, being summoned in court to give 
bail on the charge of having slandered Prince Ferdinand in a newspaper 
interview, he was mobbed in the streets in broad daylight, while the 
police, as he had expected, did little more than look on. But the active 
persecution of the Government — ^which, as time went on, was passing 
more and more under Bussophil influence — did not appear so plain 
until, upon a trivial pretext, it refused to give him a pass to seek relief 
abroad from a dangerous disease. And whenever his organ, " Svoboda," 
called the attention of the authorities to the fact that iheTe was a con- 
spiracy against the life of the ex-Premier, the official " Mir " replied 
that the diseased mind of StamboloS reflected nothing but murders and 
conspiracies around him. In the meantime, while the BussophU Gov- 
ernment was actively engaged in " rooting out Stambolovism," the pas- 
sion of hatred had begun to subside among the people, — some, doubtless, 
recollecting that StamboloS had been something besides a tyrant; that 
he had done something besides evil He then commenced occasionally 
to reappear in public, when, returning home on the evening of July 
3/16, 1895, he was attacked and assassinated by those who had so long 
sought his life. 

Such in the main and in brief was the remarkable pubUc career of 
this remarkable man. As to his physical and other personal character- 
istics, he is thus described by eye-witnesses : 

' ' Of all the [revolutionary] band, Stamboloff alone survives, with a smile upon 
his face that would seem to indicate a quiet conscience, an ambition that is well- 
nigh satisfied, and a magnificent confidence in his star which cannot fail to 
impress. He has a constitution of iron, and considerable physical strong^, the 
happy heritage of the years of hardship and exposure he spent with the shepherds 
in the bleak fastnesses of the Balkans after every unsuccessful revolution, with 
the Turkish zaptiehs on his heels, and with but a sheepskin between him and the 
weather, — ^his clothing by day, and his couch by night. He is below the middle 
stature of man, and the general impression of his shortness is heightened by his 
depth of chest and breadth of shoulder, which are both phenomenal even for this 
country of heavy and coarsely-built men. EUs eye is black and very brilliant, 
and illumines his whole face. When closed or down-turned, his features are hard, 
drawn, and repellent. When he smiles, however, his expression is genial and 
almost boyish. He is without education, — ^his three years in a theological seminary 
being his only schooling ; but after five minutes' conversation you are impressed 
with the original bent of his mind, and his clear, fresh way of viewing men and 
things. He has backbone and mother- wit, and easily disposes in debate of his 
antagonists, graduates of German gymnasia and French lycies though they be." ^ 

> Stephan Bosnal, " Harper's Weekly," April 11, 1891. 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN : STAMBOLOFP. 32 1 

A letter by Prot Gix)svenor, of Robert College, to a New York 
paper, dated at Sophia, August 22, 1890, says : 

"A short, swarthy, strong-framed man, liis head shaped like a cannon-ball, 
be entered the room like a shot, and, with barely a word of greeting, plunged 
directly into the subject iippermost in his mind, — Bulgarian politics. His words 
flow like a torrent : words, sentences, exclamatory phrases, questions, jostling 
against each other, — that, too, in French, a language he has learned in the last 
two or three years simply by hearing others talk it. A man strong enough to 
despise subterfuges, he states just what object he has in view, and does not deny 
that by all means in his power he wiU endeavor to attain it. That ultimate 
object he states to be the deliverance of Bulgaria from foreign interference, the 
attainment of internal order, and the maintenance of individual liberty. Says he 
truly : 

' Americans who do not know the East, living always in their favored, ocean- 
defended land, can never realize our difficulties, nor the necessity of what you 
call arbitrary acts. My first duty is the preservation of Bulgaria. To keep alive 
Freedom it is necessary sometimes to pull some of the plumes from her wings. 
Personally I know neither friends nor enemies. I know only Bulgaria and my 
policy. 1 do not want a personal following such as Bu^^rian leaders have. If 
a man is content with my policy, well ; if not, and if he is in the way, I push him 
aidde a little (Je Tioarte un peu). As soon as Bulgaria's internal and external 
relations are in a perfectly normal state, I shall resign and sav to the nation : ' * The 
work is done. Do you want me anv longer ? " Very likely tney will ; more Hkely 
thev will not ; for we know what the po]julace is. But I shall have been a patriot 
and served my country, and have served it perhaps most by deeds most denounced 
now.' 

There is' no hypocrisy about the man, even as there seems to be no reserve. The 
fact that I was known to him as an American and as a friend of Bulgaria may 
have helped to unseal his lips ; but I imagine he would have talked to any stranger 
with the same freedom he did to me. He is an extraordinary man." 

There is yet one psychical characterization of him, I think, that com- 
prehends all the rest: he was a Bulgarian "writ large." Stefan 
Stamboloff was a typical child of his country, a Bulgarian to his back- 
bone. The weakness and the strength, the faults and the merits of his 
race, were in him, with exaggeration, personified. 

A full estimation of Stamboloff 's character, and, to a certain degree, 
the full valuation of his work for Bulgaria, cannot be figured satisfac- 
torily imtil we have more details of his private life. Yet, as he will be 
tried principally upon the record of his public career, an approximation 
to a verdict can be made now. We have seen that StambolofE began 
his administration hated by a few partisans, and idolized — ^as sincerely 
as ever a man was idolized — ^by the people ; and that he ended his 
administration' loved by a few partisans, and hated— as passionately as 
ever a man wto hated — ^by the people. Of so radical and complete 
a change of public opinion, the capricQ of the populace and the layrs of 



328 STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 

reaction to which society is a victim are not a sufficient explanation. 
There was still another causa Stamboloff did commit actual blunders 
and some palpable crimes. That in his capacity as practical ruler of 
Bulgaria during his long tenure of office he displayed great talents and 
attained remarkable success, is undeniable. But it is also undeniable 
that the last years of his administration have left a lasting stain on his 
moral character. History can no more deliver him from the epithet 
" autocrat " than it can despoil him of the title " patriot" 

His chief blunder was committed in thinking himself indispensable 
when he was no longer so ; in trying to maintain his position when the 
people no longer wanted him. Imm^ately after the abdication of 
Prince Alexander his dauntless courage and his iron hand on the helm 
were a blessed necessity. The people instinctively knew it: they 
therefore upheld his hand and approved all his measures. But after 
1890, when he had quieted down the country, and, as much as in 
human power lay, established the security of the Crown, his work was 
done. Then he ought to have resigned. The people were right 
They saw that Stamboloff waa — 

— ** a daring pilot in extremity ; 
Pleased with the danger, when the waves went high, 
He sought the storms ; but, for a calm unfit. 
Would steer too nigh the sands, to boast his wit" 

The people saw this; but he did not This oversight or blunder 
caused hi8 downfall and nearly proved his ruin, for, in order to main- 
tain his power, he was obliged to resort to arbitrary means and perhaps 
to crimes. 

An autocrat Stamboloff undoubtedly was, but he was something 
besides: he was a patriot For if I do not agree with his blind 
admirers, who see nothing but honor and integrity in the conduct of 
their hero, I can much less agree with his enemies, who go so far as to 
deny him every virtue, and ascribe his activity to promptings of the 
basest motives. His motives were worthy of his genius. Bearing in 
mind the number of times he risked his own life for Bulgaria, even at a 
period when she had no honors or salary with which to reward him, I 
believe that no man — ^idiots and Eussophils excepted — can for a 
moment doubt Stamboloff *s sincere devotion to his country. Offspring 
of a semi-civilized social atmosphere, Stamboloff was not an ideal hero ; 
but a hero he certainly was — a hero of the first magnitude, and a 
patriot with but few equals in the whole range of history. Patriotism, 
in fact, is the key of his whole life. In patriotism the intensity of his 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 329 

Stormy being centred. Before her Hberation, the dynamic of his life 
was : " Bulgaria free from the Turkish rule by any means and at any 
cost"; after the liberation, "the preservation of her independence." 
" My first duty," said he to the American professor, " is the preserva- 
tion of Bulgaria. Personally I know neither friends nor enemies. I 
know only Bulgaria and my policy." 

That in pursuing his policy Stamboloff used rough and objectiona- 
ble methods, no man who craves the good opinion of those whose good 
opinion is worth having would attempt to deny. Yet, in estimating his 
character, three things must be taken into consideration: first, the 
environments of his youth ; second, the kind of foes he had to deal 
with ; and, third, the cause he was fighting for. The influences and 
the environments of his youth were very unfavorable for the develop- 
ment of a synunetrical character. Family training he had none to 
speak of ; and his school education he got partly in Turkey and partly 
in Bussia. In those countries, as is not difficult to conjecture, he found 
no Gladstone to take for his model, and formed few of those refined and 
humane tastes that produce Christian statesmanship ; while, ever since 
he left school, " he had been the hero of plots and coimterplots, of dar- 
ing adventures and hair-breadth escapes, until," in his thirty-second 
year, he found himself Dictator of Bulgaria. Is that a man of whom 
we would expect a tender conscience, scrupulous observance of the laws, 
and ripe parliamentary moderations ? And is it fair to weigh him by 
an English standard of morality ? 

Then, again, before condemning his severity, we should consider the 
kind of opponents he had to deal witL His foes were not only on the 
wrong side of the question, but used in their warfare methods 
immeasurably worse than his. Stamboloff, judged by a high standard 
of Christian civilization, can indeed be condemned ; but compared with 
his antagonists he appears not only great, but noble and upright 
True, he was arbitrary and fierce, but he plotted or permitted nobody's 
murder. He had the traitors shot without mercy, but only after they 
had been sentenced in an open court He was no coward. He struck 
right from the shoulder, and stood in the light of day like a man ; the 
whole world knew where he stood and what he was about The 
very reverse was the case of the Eussophils opposed to him. They 
skulked in the dark, with rebellion in favor of a foreign power, fraud, 
and assassination as their chief weapons. The fiendish temper of 
Bussophilism which he fought and held in check so many years is now 
well known by the exhibition it made of itself at Stamboloff's murder. 



880 STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN : STAMBOLOFF. 

During the thirty hours he was writhing from the fifteen terrible 
wounds it had dealt him, Bussophilism broke forth with exultant 
rejoicing over his agony ; when he died, it insulted his remains ; and at 
the burial it danced around his grava The whole world witnessed it 
horror-stricken. Such were and are " the Black Souls " against whom 
Stamboloff exercised ruthless measures ; measures in his mind defensi- 
ble because of their efficacy. He believed that in a successful fight 
with the devil a devilish severity was a necessity, and occasionally 
devilish weapons. He therefore fought fire with fire, and resisted 
Bussia and her influence with her own methods improved, — excepting 
of course their brigandism. I shall not now discuss whether Stam- 
boloff was right or wrong in arriving at such a conclusion. I only call 
attention to the fact that many eminent men in more advanced 
countries than Stamboloff *s seem to hold the same views. It was not 
very long ago that a brilliant American senator publicly declared that 
the Decalogue has no place in politica 

In the third place, we must consider the cause he was fighting for. 
The policy for which he stood was : '^ Bulgaria for the Bulgarians ; 
Bulgaria free and independent from all foreign interferenca" Now 
there are three Powers that are or may be a menace to Bulgaria's inde- 
pendence, — ^Turkey, Austria, and Bussia. Whether Turkey can recon- 
quer Bulgaria is doubtful In case she does, she would be imable to 
hold her in subjection two years, — ^provided the European Powers 
would allow it, which they would not The danger from Turkey, 
then, is reduced to a minimum. Neither would Austria have a very 
easy task to subjugate Bulgaria, because she would have to conquer 
Servia first In case Austria does conquer both Servia and Bulgaria, 
not only could they, like the Slovaks and the Bohemians, preserve 
their identity and wait for the opportune moment for self-assertion, 
but in all probability such an opportune moment would not be far o£L 
For Austria, who already has more Slavs than she can conveniently 
manage, would then be completely flooded by them. They would gain 
the balance of power, overwhelm both Himgarian and German ele- 
ments, and simply convert her into a Slavic empira Thus, since, by 
subjecting Bulgaria, Austria is likely to commit suicide, she cannot 
afford to tey the experiment 

Yery different is the case with Bussia. Should Bulgaria be left 
alone, Bussia would have no difficulty in taking possession of the 
country and holding it down. Being one in religion, and nearly one 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 881 

Buflsia, and Bussian soldiers to Bulgaria, she could in a short time 
completely Bussify the country. Halft a century would be all she 
would need to blot out the Bulgarian name from the face of the earth. 
For the Bulgarians the gate of the Bussian empire bears this inscrip- 
tion : "Leave aU hope behind, ye who enter here." No man read this 
inscription with a clearer eye than Stambolofi. The danger was espe- 
cially imminent during the first part of his administration. The 
threatening civil war or anarchy, had it succeeded, would have cer- 
tainly invited Bussian armed interference ; in which case free Bulgaria 
would have been to-day either a mere history, or so far Bussified that 
her final gravitation into the mass of the great Slavic empire would 
have been only a question of tima It was about this time that Prof. 
Freeman wrote : " For the moment neither Turk nor Austrian is so 
dangerous to Bulgaria as the son of her liberator.'' No man, as I said, 
saw the dancrer with a clearer eye than Stefan Stambolofi. And he 
devoted his Ufa to prevent this threatening catastrophe, or to perish in 
the attempt, — ^and he did both, as we now know. The sight of bom 
Bulgarians — whether knaves or fools, equally dangerous — ^helping 
to bring about the ruin of their own country, made his wrath against 
them uncontrollable. But it was his profound conviction that by these 
measures he saved Bulgaria from the fate of a second Poland. And 
who can say that he did not? Stamboloffs severity, then, was a re- 
sult of the logic of events, plus himself, — ^a half-civilized, but more than 
a full-grown patriot 

Even against the grave charge that he identified his personal ene- 
mies with the enemies of his country, his friends advance a plausible 
patriotic defence. They argue that, as he was the greatest bulwark of 
her independence, the man who aimed at Stamboloff was in reality no 
less a criminal than a traitor to Bulgaria And this was doubtless 
true, at least during the first half of his administration. That he ruled 
autocratically, he himself never for a moment attempted to deny. But 
he held it to be necessitated by the unsettled and extraordinary condi- 
tion through which the country was then passing. He did deny, how- 
ever, the charge of appropriating pubUc money, and— to his credit let 
it be said — ^his not over-scrupulous enemies, after a whole year of special 
investigation, at the time of his murder had proven nothing, though 
they did announce that they had proven that Stamboloff had violated 
the Constitution, — ^which, as I said, he never denied. 

• 

If we now strike a balance, weighing his faults against his merits, 



832 STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 

not forgetting his great temptations, the issue of the verdict of justice 
and posterity admit not of a moment's doubt His faults dwindle to 
insignificance by the side of the splendid services he rendered for the 
liberation and the preservation of Bulgaria. Setting aside for the 
moment the indispensable work of the Bussian and Boumanian armies, 
the liberation of Bulgaria was achieved by the historic efforts and suf- 
ferings of half a dozen men, — Gheorghi Bakovsky, Liuben Elaraveloff, 
Vasil Levsky, Christo Boteff, Gheorghi Benkovsky, and Stefan Stam- 
boloff, — none of whom did a more valuable service than Stamboloff. 
The preservation of Bulgaria's independence may be accredited chiefly 
to Prince Alexander, Petko Karaveloff (until 1886), Zacharia Stoyan- 
off, and Stefan Stamboloff ; but especially to the last named, who con- 
tributed toward it more than all the rest put together. For the liberation 
of Bulgaria, then, he has done as much as anybody ; and for the pres- 
ervation of her independence Stamboloff's services are by far too great 
to be compared with those of any man. 

Such, in brief, are the royal and extraordinary public services ren- 
dered to Bulgaria by this, her extraordinary child. He has not inap- 
propriately, therefore, been compared with Cavour and Bismarck; and 
if any single man deserves to wear the proud title of Paier PatruB of 
new Bulgaria, his name is Stefan Stamboloff. " With all his faults, — 
and they were neither few nor small," — Stamboloff is justly entitled to 
lead the names of new Bulgaria, writ by the finger of Fame on the roll 
of honor, to be read by a grateful posterity. It can be said of him 
substantially what Macaulay said of Warren Hastings : " Those who 
look on his character without favor or malevolence will pronounce 
that, in the two great elements of all social virtue — ^in respect for the 
rights of others and in sympathy for the sufferings of others — ^he was 
deficient His principles were somewhat lax. His heart was some- 
what hard. But though we cannot with truth describe him either as 
a righteous or as a merciful ruler, we cannot regard without admiration 
the fertility of his intellect, — ^his rare talents for command, for adminis- 
tration, and for controversy, — ^his dauntless courage," his passionate 
love for Bulgaria, for whose independence he lived and was ready a 
hundred times to die. 

Nor did his enemies end his services with his Ufa He has be- 
queathed to his followers and his country a saf^uard, a priceless 
example. He showed that Bulgaria can stand on her own feet Not 
only was he the embodiment of the national policy, but he also showed 
that the policy can be carried out Previous to his administration, 



STUDIES OF NOTABLE MEN: STAMBOLOFF. 333 

wlien the Bussophils declared that '^ Bulgaria cannot exist without 
Bussia," we half believed their favorite formula ourselves. To-day 
even they are shamed into modifying their treacherous declaration. 
For they saw Eastern Boumelia annexed to Bulgaria, and they saw the 
Servian war carried to a successful issue, in spite of Bussia ; they saw 
Stamboloff resist and deliberately defy their almighty idoL He did 
what no Bulgarian before him would have dared to attempt Even 
our brave Prince Alexander was scared off his throne by a single 
frown from the Czar. But now the defence of Bulgaria's independence 
does not seem a task so superhuman. Now more timid men cai:\ and 
will continue his work, and because of his patriotic life and great work 
Bussian absorption of Bulgaria is much less possible, — is in fact im- 
probable. So I do not think that his cause loses much by his death. 
I believe, on the contrary, that, in murdering Stamboloff, Bussophilism 
made a fatal mistaka Bussophilism, in my opinion, has no more 
done with Stamboloff than Pharisaism had done with Christ when it 
nailed Him to the crosa Brutal materialism will again be reminded 
that sacred ideas are never thus annihilated ; that the blood of the 
patriot-martyrs, too, is the seed of their Causa 

Stoyan Kbstoff Vatralsky. 



THE MODERN LITERARY KING. 

Time was — ^and it is not so very long ago — that an author, when he 
sat down to write a book, felt as if he were approaching a devout task. 
He felt as if the pen were a sacred instrument : the book a gospeL He 
lived a sane life : that is, he feared God and slept eight hours every 
night, — ^and when a man does those two things he is sane and very far 
removed from pessimism. He viewed life in a calm and rational man- 
ner ; he went among people enough to understand them, and he had 
time and leisure to read. When he wrote, it was because he felt within 
him a mental or spiritual impulse which drove him to the pen ; and 
when his work appeared in print, people realized that the man had 
written because he had something to say. He had a messaga He 
wrote from inspiration. There was in his work a certain glow, a mag- 
netic vigor, a reaching-out power which took hold of the reader as it 
had possessed the writer. It is this subtle power— or call it by what 
name we may — ^in Thackeray, that gave stamina and strength to " Vanity 
Fair," and made it a piece of fiction that will live as long as novels are 
read. It was that fine sensation of an inspiration felt and a deed 
achieved that Gibbon experienced in his historical writings. Coming 
to our own literature, we find the same power behind almost all of Emer- 
son's work. Washington Irving was thus impelled to write, and, get- 
ting even closer in touch with our own day, we realize the same glow 
of inspiration in the writings of Lowell, who never stooped to make 
aught but art of literature. Those were, indeed, pastoral days in lit- 
erature, and in America more particularly. The " needs " of the 
publisher, the " requirements " of the public, were far from the mind of 
the writer when he wrote, and yet his work invariably met both needs 
and requirements. But the author was himself in those days, and what 
he gave was of himself and his best sell He believed in inspiration, 
and waited for it before he wrote. He was actuated by no other motive 
than the impulse which drove him to transform a mental message- 
something which he felt and believed — ^into a printed page. 

Nowadays we have changed all this. Inspiration is given no chance : 
one is almost led to say that it has become an unknown quality in our 



THE MODERN LITERARY KING. 335 

literature. The one thought of the author of to-day is to make matter 
out of mind. The successful writer of the present, once he has secured 
the eye of the public, feels that he must keep himself and his work be- 
fore the eye of that public He must produce and go on producing 
whether impulse or inspiration comes to him or not He must, he 
feels, produce just so much work. He is sincere and conscientious in 
the hope that what he does will be good work. But if it happens to be 
otherwise, which is more than likely, he feels that he is not altogether 
to blame. The work must be produced. It is not a case of can: 
it is simply and purely one of must He is in a feverish race : he needs 
keep in the procession and as near the head of it as he can. He is 
driven by a force he neither understands nor stops to analyze He 
must eke out his living by his pen, and there lies the root of the evil 
Not only does his present belong to another, but his future is mort- 
gaged. He contracts to write books for delivery within the next two, 
three, or five years, quite unmindf id of the question whether there will be 
a book in him to write, or a story in him to tell, or not He is simply 
" under contract " : his time, his brain, his mind is mortgaged. For 
each novel he is offered a larger sum than he received for his last, and 
proud is that author who, when a publisher comes to him in these days, 
can say : " My dear fellow, I can't undertake another scrap of work. 
Everything I do for the next five years is sold. My 1897 novel goes 

to So-and-so, my 1898 stories are sold to * *s Magazine,' while all 

I do in 1900 I have contracted to give to the s. You see how I 

am fixed" And if you ask him what his 1897 novel will consist of, 
he has no more idea of its plot or context than has his valet or his 
cook. Nor is this in any sense an exaggerated picture of the con- 
dition of the modem American author. With one or two rare excep- 
tions — so rare that they can be counted upon the fingers of a single 
hand, with fingers to spare — the successful authors of the day are under 
the thraldom of the modem literary king, — ^the almighty dollar. 

It is easy to lay the blame for tlus condition of affairs — as some of 
our famous writers have done who have been brave enough to acknow- 
ledge it at all — upon the over-enterprising and grasping publisher. But 
it is evidently overlooked by these author-critics that no condition can 
become a condition until it is accepted. If publishers and editors have 
committed errors in advancing commercial standards and allowing them 
to sway our literature, our authors have committed equal error in per- 
mitting themselves to accept those standards. The responsibility for 
xnatters as they are cannot be shifted to one pair of shoulders any more 



386 TH£ MODERN LITERARY KTNG. 

than to another. Both publishers and authors are equally responsible, 
and they, not singly, but together, can change them. 

As conditions are, they unquestionably injure the prospects of both 
producer and purveyor. Take, for example, the accursed " word " 
system which has grown out of this iconoclastic literary standard of 
ours. I mean the system of paying an author so many cents for each 
word in his manuscript An editor or publisher goes to an author 
and promises to pay him so much per word for his next work. The 
story — ^if it be a story that is being bargained for — ^is not written : even 
the barest outline of the plot is not clear in the writer's mind. Abso- 
lutely nothing exists. A certain date is fixed for the delivery of the 
manuscript The author makes a note of the transaction on his calendar, 
and a month or two previous to the time he is reminded of it and 
begins to write. The conditions of his contract are, generally, two : 
first, that it must be a certain kind of story ; and second, it must be so 
many words in length. Every word means so many cents. He sits 
down to write with that one fact prominently in mind. Let him be as 
conscientious as he choose, as sincere as he prefers, it is human nature 
for him to remember that every word he writes means four, five, six, 
eight, ten, twelve, or fourteen cents to him. He cannot get away from 
it The crisp retort in a dialogue is spun out to a dreary succession of 
words, words, worda And why not? It is words he is writing: it is 
words he is being paid for. Every vowel looms up into a figure, every 
"a," "an," "is," "if," "it," or "the" means so many cents to him. 
" To think that every one of those small words," said an author to me 
recently, while he was reading his manuscript, "means six cents. 
Odd, isn't it?" And then he went over his "copy " to see if he 
coTild n't put in a few more words to " cover his typewriter's bill," as 
he humorously — and yet very truthfidly, I fancy — ^remarked. Nor is 
this man a " hick writer " : he is one of L foremost American write™. 
When the manuscript reached the editor, a piece of paper was pinned 
to it, — " 8,255 words, at six cents a word," it said ; then came the foot- 
line, and the total in large, bold figures : $495.80 1 I was amused a 
week afterward in finding the editor who had " contracted " for the 
story busy in the confirmation of the author's figures. One of his 
assistants had carefully counted the words and found a difference of 
seventeen I Then it was revealed that the author had included in his 
count the chapter-heads, the title of the story, and his own signature I 
There were but three words to the signature, and I could not hdp 
thinking that the editor, after all, had gotten the name of his " star "-r- 



THE MODERN UTERABY KING. 337 

what lie had actaallj bought at the start — ^pretty cheap ; since, accord- 
ing to the author's own figuring, it brought only eighteen cents I But 
imagine Milton, for example, having written " Paradise Lost " at six 
cents per word, and throwing in his name for twelve cents I And yet 
this sort of thing goes on constantly in literary negotiations nowadays : 
in fact, we practically know of no other way of measuring the value of 
a manuscript The result is that most of our authors are nothing more 
or less than a species of literary telegraph-operators who transmit to their 
public a certain number of words in a pven time at so much a word. 

It is idle to say that the literary purveyor is to blame for all this. 
The original offender — the creator of this soul-inspiring standard — ^might 
be difficult to trace, but the author who first accepted it is equally 
responsible with him who concocted it That the standard is absolutely 
lolling to good literary work, there can be no question. Every consci- 
entious author knows this and feels it And yet he practically does 
nothing to rid himself of the thraldom. So long as he gets six cents 
per word this season from one publisher, and seven cents — or eight if 
he can — ^next season from another, he is satisfied. His vanity is pleased, 
even though he stultifies his art 

As things are, a successful author, in our day, writes just one book 
— ^his first book — ^with true literary art in it and with the freshness of 
inspiration upon it If this book does not make a success, he is safe, 
and, if not discouraged, he will write another book of merit But if 
his first book meets with success, he has reached the beginning of the 
end. Even before he fuUy realizes that his book has commanded atten- 
tion, and that, as an author, he is a success, he is pounced upon by an 
army of publishers, editors, and literary purveyors who immediately 
proceed to knock all the inspiration out of him. His first book was 
written in practically an untranmielled spirit, save, of course, with the 
pardonable hope of fame and success. His second book is written " to 
an audience " at " so much per word," with the final crack of the whip 
at the end of the contract that it will be finished at a certain data And 
yet some of us wonder why it is that we have so many of what we 
choose to call " one-book authors," — ^men and women who write one 
successful book and seem to be incapable of " doing it again," as we 
term it Is the reason so invisible? After a while the new author 
turns into one of those machines which Mr. Zangwill recently so hap- 
pily described in writing of Anthony Trollope : 

" I always figured to myself Trollope's novels as all written on a long, end- 
lesB acroll of paper rolled on an iron axis nailed up in his study. The pabliahers 
22 



338 THE MODERN LITERARY KING. 

approach to buy so many yards of fiction, and shopman Anthony, scisBors in 
hand, unrolls the scroll and snips it off at the desired point/' 

It does seem as if we can go only one step further, and buy the manu- 
scripts of authors by the pound I In that case, how the fine rice paper 
now used as " copy-paper " by so many authors would go begging for 
customers ! 

All this commercial tendency in literary wares has caused the most 
fictitious values to be placed upon manuscripts of all kinds. And 
it is a value that, sooner or later, is destined to act as a boomerang 
to the author. The time is not so far back when a price of three cents 
per word was considered a fair remuneration even by authors of con- 
siderable reputa Then it jumped up to five cents per word, and it 
has been jumping ever since, until now the highest point reached, I 
think, is fourteen cents per word, with such an occasional leap into the 
realms of idiocy as when a certain magazine editor recently offered the 
author of " Trilby " five thousand dollars for a story of five thousand 
words, — with the check enclosed in the letter, in fact So far as maga- 
zine publication is concerned, no story bought by it at fourteen cents 
per word can represent that yalue to it The president of the publish- 
ing company which issues " The Century Magazine " has said that no 
novel printed in that magazine ever made a perceptible increase in 
its circulation. And any man who knows anything of the business 
side of magazines knows this to be true in his own experience^ A 
value of fourteen cents per word, or anything approaching to it, is a 
fictitious valua It can only be such, and as such it can only react 
upon the author receiving it It is simply impossible for him to hold 
his market at such a rate. He may for a time, so long as magazines 
feel the sense of keen competition that they do to-day. But when the 
strain of that competition is reUeved, and editors begin to edit their 
magazines on a sound and normal basis of true values — as soon they 
will and must — the value of the ten-, twelve-, or fourteen-cent author 
will materially decrease. And, like a great many other kinds of people 
in this world, when an author once deteriorates in value he is like the 
man of whom " Josh Billings " wrote that when he b^an going down 
hill it did seem as if the hill had been greased for the occasion. The 
only true literary value is a normal and sane value : a value which 
does not attain fictitious limits, but holds its own. One or two wise 
authors, more far-seeing and discriminating than their restless brethren, 
have seen the wisdom of this course, and while they write to-day for 
five cents a word, as they did three years ago, the likelihood is that 



THE MODERN LITERARY KING. 839 

they will be getting five cents per word when those who aspired to 
higher figures — and reached them — will be getting two and three 
cents, and be compelled to hawk their manuscripts around even at 
that figure. 

It may be questioned in some quarters, perhaps, whether this com- 
mercial aspect has, in reality, seriously affected tiie work of our well- 
known authors. But those whose business brings them into close con- 
tact with writers know it has affected them, and seriously so. 

There is now an author before the public whose writings have a 
wide audience, but who has been recently told by the critics that his 
work is deteriorating. This is true, and it is not strange that it should 
be so. He is a man who as a writer shows the highest art in his work, 
and his earlier books demonstrate this fact beyond a doubt But he 
has come under the influence of the dollar, and now writes what is 
called '* to order." Not long ago a magazine editor approached this 
author for his next work, and found him just starting upon it 

" I would like it," said the editor. 

" What will you pay for it ? " was the author's first question. 

" How long will it probably be ? " inquired the editor. 

" Oh, I can make it just as long or as short as you want it," said 
the obliging author. Then he added : " It depends upon the price, I 
can make a 40,000-word story of it if you like, and then it will cost 
you $6,000. Or, I can spin it out to 60,000 words, — and that is really 
what I ought to have to let the story tell itself ; but then I will want 
$7,600 for it Of course, if you can't pay more than $6,000, 1 can trim 
it accordingly." 

The real question of the story itself did not enter into the question. 
It was simply a matter of price. You paid so much and you got so 
mucL If you paid a littie more you received a littie mora It was 
Anthony Trollope over again. 

The reason why our American literature suffers so unmistakably 
in comparison with that of other lands lies in this fact: that so 
much of our literature is written "to order" or "by contract" It is 
contract work that we are getting, and nothing else. I do not mean 
to say that the authors of other countries are free from this evil: 
I know very well they are not But we are more addicted to the 
system than they, and we have helped foreign authors not a little in 
their addiction to it It is absolutely a rare instance in which we find 
an author writing a book which is not sold, or been bargained for, long 
before he began to write it And in nine cases out of ten he does not 



340 THE MODERN LITERARY KING. 

write the story as it origmally presented itself in his mind, but he writes 
it directly to " the needs of the audience " which he has contracted 
shall receive it The result in this sort of writing is always the same. 
Every author knows, whether he chooses to acknowledge it or not, that 
writing to order means loss of power, loss of belief in the actuality of 
' the tale, and ultimately loss of self-respect to the writer. Hack-work 
— ^and that is all that writing to order is — ^invariably results in a man 
mis-saying himself at every turn, until at the last he ceases to be the 
author of what comes from his pen. He turns into a veritable machine. 
This theory, I think, is apparent to every one who writes, and it 
accounts for much of what confuses and mystifies us in the writings of 
certain authors whose views on the same subject in two different articles 
or stories are diametrically opposed to each other. No author can re- 
main true to his art or to his convictions who makes of it a trade pure 
and simple. Nor does it make any material difference how great a 
master of his art he may be. If he allows the commercial element to 
dominate his thoughts, his work invariably shows the influence. It is 
a system of degeneration from the moment he allows the influence to 
possess him. It is not stating too much in this connection to say that 
the products of some of our authors have simply become a mechanical 
annual crop, suggesting the fact that the writers are making all the hay 
they can while the sun of their prosperity is shining. Only a few of 
the successful writers of the day have the self -power to remain silent 
until they have something to say. One book follows another in rapid 
succession until the natural query is : " How in the world does he do 
it?" The result is that the great run of books we have are hard 
and wooden, with not the first sparkle of vivacity or individuality in 
them. They are simply so many books written to order and finished 
to fit 

When one looks carefully over the ground of modem literary indus- 
tries, I think the truth comes home very directly that the agency known 
as the " newspaper syndicate " has done much to infuse this commercial 
aspect into our literary affairs. We may choose to believe that by the 
syndicate plan the writings of certain authors of renown have been 
made possible to people whose means do not allow them to buy maga- 
zines and books. This is, in a measure, trua But it is likewise true 
that the best works of the highest-class writers are hardly ever seen in 
the newspapers. There have been exceptions, but they are rare— ex- 
ceedingly rare. For the most part the newspaper syndicate is the sewer 
of the author, — ^and I make this statement advisedly. I have the best 



THE MODERN LITERARY KING. 341 

reasons for stating that fully 70 per cent — ^and I am keeping witliin 
modest bounds— of the short stories and novels published in the modem 
newspapers are those which have been refused for book or magazine 
publication, or have been adjudged by the authors themselves as being 
imworthy of anything more than the fleeting publication which they 
suppose the newspaper of a day offers. The higher-class authors do not 
first offer their best wares to the newspaper syndicates : they employ 
them either as a last resort or as a " special channel " for ^^ a certain 
class of their work," or as a means of advertising their names. And in 
either one of these r61es the syndicate is a positive injury to good 
literature. I am not attempting to make war upon the newspaper 
syndicates by these words, nor am I trying to cast reflections upon the 
judgment of newspaper editors. The syndicate is in business for 
money : for literature it cares very little. It is the author's name it is 
after, pure and simple. The newspaper editor simply takes the best of 
what h offered hiim and often and a^in, in his heTri, he knows that it 
is a poor best But we are all more or less susceptible to the attraction 
of a famous name, and the average " supplement " editor of the news- 
paper is not an exception to the rule. 

Here, again, both producer and purveyor are equally to blame. The 
syndicate manager attracts by the larger sum which his numerous news- 
paper customers make it possible for him to pay, and the author falls 
into the temptation. But " the newspapers are not so particular," he 
argues; "all they want is my name:" and he gives the syndicate 
man what he likes, and that is generally the story which has been re- 
fused by the magazine, or which he hesitates to offer to it Such a 
course works only harm to the author. Unless he employs the news- 
paper syndicate in the same spirit as he does the magazine or the book, 
he does his reputation and his better class of work an injury. But he 
likes to feel that the story which he gives to the newspaper is but 
casually or hastily read, and that it is soon forgotten, and he takes 
the chance of publishing material over his name which he is often 
ashamed to have mentioned to him in conversation. But it is the 
reaching out for the dollar that actuates him, and, there being in the 
syndicate plan a good many dollars for even the poorest work of an 
author of repute, he sinks art into trada 

It is easy enough to sit down and sound the praises of the average 
Sunday newspaper, and many of us do so simply because we dare not 
say anything elsa We fear to speak honestly and frankly. But when 
the truth is told of the average literary supplement of the Sunday news- 



342 THE MODERN LITERABY KING. 

paper, the best that can be said for it is, that if it does not hold exactly 
the refuse of literary workers, it represents nothing more than the low- 
est mediocrity of the names which it prints to its " features." And de- 
spite the feeling that these words will be misunderstood in a great 
many quarters, I say them frankly and knowingly, in the hope of open- 
ing the eyes of newspaper editors. And the sooner the newspaper 
editor realizes the true character of the material he prints to which are 
attached famous names, the better it will be for him, for his paper, for 
his readers, and for literature generally. 

This glitter of fame has worked the deepest injury to literature. 
And the manager of the syndicate, or the supplement editor of the Sun* 
day newspaper, is not alone to blame in this respect The magazine 
editor and the book publisher are equally criminal We have all of us 
by far too present the feeling that a certain effect can be had by the 
juggling of a great name, despite the material behind it An author 
becomes famous, and every editor and publisher seeks him. The one 
stumbles over the other in the mad race to secure his next piece of 
work. The tension becomes so great that prices reach an abnormal 
height The one outbids the other. After a while it becomes simply a 
question of personal achievement This is what in these days we call 
" enterprise. " Of the merit of the material which is being bid for so high, 
not one of the clamoring throng knows anything. That part which of 
all other parts is most interesting and most vital to the public is lost 
sight of. The author becomes bewildered amid the many applications 
that come to him, and, in order that he may not encounter the displeas- 
ure of his bidders, he promises right and left, and in a little while a 
mass of stuff issues from his pen that is simply stuff and nothing else. 
It does him no good, it does his greedy editors and publishers no good, 
it does the public no good. On the contrary, it works harm all 
around. 

It is not making all this right to say that this restless and clamorous 
condition of affairs has made certain things possible which twenty years 
ago were impossible. Competition, rightly directed, is always healthful 
and developing, but a mad, reckless, and senseless competition is in- 
jurious. And this is the kind of competition now raging in r^ard to 
literary wares. It has nothing healthy about it, nothing stable. The 
whole thing is on a false basis. It is misleading to the author, it is un- 
fair to the public, and it is rapidly becoming ruinous to the publisher. 
It is a mad race, honeycombed at every step with pitfalls into which 
authors, editors, and publishers are tumbling each year. It began with 



THE MODERN LITERARY KING, 343 

mificonception, and it must sooner or later end in misconception if 
nothing worse. 

All this— despite the fact that it may seem to have about it the dis- 
tinct flavor of the green-room of literature — concerns itself with the 
public in a very direct way. If the financial groundwork of an insti- 
tution is unstable, its productions will be of like character. The 
monetary basis of literary wares is unquestionably wrong, and the pub- 
lic suffers because of it The literature given to the people is bom of the 
mart and not of the study. Everything about it has the flavor of money, 
money, money. And instead of the conditions growing any better, 
they are getting worse. The true reason for much of the weakness of 
our American national literature is to be found in the conditions which 
surround the author of to-day, and which he has allowed to surround 
him and enter into his work. To his credit, it should be said that he 
does not desire it, nor does he relish it It has been forced upon him. 
And there is where our literary purveyors are to blama The com- 
mercial element is too dominant with them. But the author has fallen 
under the pressure, and there is where he is to blama The course for 
each is plain. The remedy is in the hands of botL The dollar is the 
curse of our literature of to-day. It has become the juggernaut of the 
author. It is the modem literary king. 

Edward W. Bok. 



THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MY CAREER. 

To write about one's self may perhaps be considered an evidence 
of bad taste, yet wbo can treat the subject so well? — for while an 
author relates the concerns of his heart, we seem to hear but our own 
affairs ; while he dwells on himself, we remain occupied with our 
personal thoughts. It is an excellent frame of mind in which to un- 
derstand one another. I am therefore very happy to accede to the in- 
vitation of The Forum to write something concerning the influences 
that have gone to form my career. 

Yesterday, as I walked by the bank of the Seine, the spring sun- 
shine enlivened the quays and their noble outline of stone; the 
scudding clouds gave to the brightness of day the charming spon- 
taneity of a smile ; and, while the crowd swept past, I abandoned my- 
self to the sweetness of undefined reverie. I never pass along these 
quays without a feeling of joy and sadness, for I was born here, and 
here I spent my childhood. Seen thus in the sunshine, are they not 
one of the most beautiful sights in the world? Here one sees the 
Louvre, — chiselled like a precious stone, — the trees, and the books; 
one breathes under a lovely sky, amid the memory of the centuries, 
the sweetness and excellence of living. These quays have a culmina- 
tion of delight in that art and nature are here united in the beauty of 
friendship. Even the sky is loveliest here, — now of a uniform blue, 
lightly touched with a thousand delicate hues, or enriched with purple, 
flame, and gold all melting into one; or again of a gray so tender 
that unexpected tears spring into the eyes. Here the sun throws 
his rays upon the boxes exposed by the old book-dealers for the 
profit of artless scholars and old priests. How charming it is to 
gaze at the water as it runs under the arches of the ancient bridges, 
witnesses to so many stirring events I It seems as if their very stones 
could speak, and in truth they do talk to the archsBologist. But the 
water is a babbler who talks to all the world. Cool, limpid, and 
laugbing, it gayly bears the boats which cover it with silvery ripples, 
and, quivering, reflects the willows and the beech-trees which make 



THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MY CABEEB. 345 

its banks verdant. On these banks, where the old books mingle 
with the landscape, I was brought up by the lowly and simple ones 
of whom I alone preserve the remembrance. 

Of the Quai Voltaire, where I acquired a taste for the fine arts, 
I have preserved enchanting recollections. The greater part of my 
adolescence was passed in that house where, half a century earlier, 
Dominique-Yivant Benon, gentleman-of-the-chamber to the king, 
director of the fine arts, member of the Institute, and baron of the 
empire, withdrew with his collections and mementos to spend the 
garnished elegance of his old age. The restful fagade of this resi- 
dence, pierced by the light arches of the tall windows, recalls, by its 
aristocratic simplicity, the period of Gabriel and of Louis. I see 
myself again a little child looking at the boats as they passed, and 
drinking in life with delight. The Seine that flowed before me 
charmed me by the grace natural to the waters, — the motive of matter 
and the spring of life. Ingenuously I admired the delightful wonder 
of the stream which bore the boats by day, reflecting back the sky, 
and at night became covered with precious stones and luminous 
flowers. And because I loved it, I desired that that beautiful water 
might remain always the same. My mother told me that the rivers 
flowed into the ocean, and that the waters of the Seine ran without 
ceasing ; but I repulsed this idea as unreasonably pitiful. In this, 
perhaps, I lacked the proper scientific spirit, but I embraced a dear 
illusion, for in the midst of the evils of life there is no greater afflic- 
tion than the universality with which things pass away. 

At evening, at the family table, under the lamp which burned 
with infinite mildness, I turned over my old Bible with the ancient 
prints, which my mother had given me, and which I devoured with 
my eyes before ever I was able to read. It was an excellent old 
Bible, dating from the conmiencement of the seventeenth century ; the 
engravings were by a Dutch artist, who had represented the terrestrial 
paradise in the guise of a landscape in the neighborhood of Amster- 
dam. The hills were covered with oaks grown awry in the wind 
from the sea. The meadows, admirably drained, were intercepted 
by rows of mouldy willows. An apple-tree with mossy boughs repre- 
sented the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The animals in 
view were domesticated, and presented the idea of a farm with a well- 
regulated poultry-yard. There were the oxen, the sheep, the rabbits, 
and a fine horse of Brabant, clipped and groomed, waiting to be 
harnessed to the carriage of the burgomaster. AH this enraptured 



346 THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MY CAREER. 

me. I do not speak of Eve, who was portrayed as a Flemish beauty ; 
but here were the lost treasures. I was still more interested in 
Noah's ark. I can yet see the spacious and circular hull surmounted 
by a cabin made of planks. 0, marvel of tradition I Among my 
toys was a Noah's ark of an exact similitude, painted red, with all 
the animals in pairs, and Noah and his children standing round them. 
It was a great proof to me of the truth of the Scriptures. " Teste 
David cum Sibylla. " At the period of the tower of Babel the per- 
sonages in my Bible were sumptuously clothed according to their 
condition: the warriors in the pattern of the Bomans of Trajan's 
Column; princes with turbans; the women looking like those of 
Bubens; the shepherds in the fashion of brigands; and the angels 
modelled after those of the Jesuits. The tents of the soldiers resem- 
bled the rich pavilions seen in tapestries ; the palaces were in imita- 
tion of the Benaissance. There were the nymphs of Jean Goujon in 
the fountain in which Bathsheba bathed. That is the reason these 
pictures gave me the impression of a profound antiquity. I doubted 
whether even my grandfather, severely as he had been wounded at 
Waterloo, — in remembrance of which he always wore a bouquet of 
violets in his button-hole, — could have known the tower of Babel 
and the baths of Bathsheba. 

0, my old Bible with its engravings t What delight I felt in 
turning over its pages in the evening, when the pupils of my eyes 
already half swam with the rapturous undulations of infantine 
slumber. How I saw God there in a white beard ! How sincerely I 
believed in Him I — although, between ourselves, I considered Him 
inclined to be whimsical, violent, and wrathful ; but I did not ask 
Him to render an account of His actions, — I was accustomed to see 
great personages behaving in an incomprehensible manner. And 
then I had at that time a philosophy t I believed in the universal 
infallibility of men and matter. I was persuaded that there was a 
rational reason for everything, and that such a vast aSair as this 
world was governed with seriousness, — a wisdom which I forsook 
with my ancient Bible ! What regrets have I not since had ! Only 
consider. To be one's self quite little, and to be able to attain to the 
end of the world after an honest walk. To believe that one has the 
secret of the universe in an old book, under the lamp, when the room 
is warm ! To be in no trouble, and yet to dream ! For in those days 
I dreamed, and all the personages in my old Bible came as soon as I 
had lain down, and passed the footboard of my bed in procession. 



TEDBS CHIEF INFLX7ENCES ON MT CAREER. 347 

TeSy kings bearing sceptres and crowns, and prophets with their long 
beards draped under an eternal gust of wind, passed before me with 
dignified good nature while I slept. After the procession they went 
to. arrange themselves in a box of Nuremberg toys. But I did not 
understand why God had prohibited that good Flemish Eve from 
touching the fruits of the tree which gave pleasant knowledge. I 
know it now, and I am very near believing that the God of my old 
Bible was right. That wise old man, a lover of gardens, said to Him- 
self no doubt: *' Science does not make happiness, and when men 
oome to know much of history and of geography they will grow sad. " 
And He was not mistaken. If, peradventure, He still lives. He must 
felicitate Himself on His foresight. We have eaten the fruit of the 
tree of science, and it has left the taste of ashes in our mouths. 

In the daytime, in the midst of the jack-snipes, the trefoil, and 
the daisies which at that time might still be gathered on the wild 
and blossoming declivities of the Trocad^ro, I played at hoop at the 
foot of the statues on the Pont d' J^na. I entertained no particular 
opinion concerning these statues; I saw vaguely that they were men 
who held horses of stone by the bridles. I knew not if they were 
beautifid or ugly, but I was very sensible of the fact that they were 
enchanted like the light of the sky which laved me deliciously, and 
the salubrious air which I breathed in joyfully ; like the trees on the 
solitary quays ; like the laughing waters of the Seine ; like the whole 
round world. I felt that very surely, but I did not doubt that the 
enchantment was in myself, and that it was I, so young, who 
filled the universe with a radiant sprightliness. The myth of an 
earthly paradise is a grand truth, and I am not astonished that it has 
entered into the conscience of tbe people. It is true that each in 
turn we commence again the adventure of Adam, we waken to con- 
sciousness in the terrestrial paradise, and our childhood is spent in 
the pleasantness of a new Eden. In these blessed hours I have seen 
thistles pushing out from under a heap of stones, in the sunny lanes 
where the birds sang, and I say truly, it was paradise. It was 
situated, not between the four rivers of Scripture, but on the hills of 
Chaillot and on the banks of the Seine. 

But the pictures I made of living people were confused. Among 
my earliest recollections I recall very vividly, when not more than 
four or five years old, having seen Louis Bubois, then very old, who 
was my father's friend, and who had written an additional couplet 
to the six stanzas of the " Marseillaise" of Bouget de Tlsle. I ad- 



348 THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MT CAREER. 

mired him extremely, certainly not on account of the additional 
verse of the '' Marseillaise, ^ but because he pushed my hoop in such 
manner as to make it sweep back to the point of departure. This 
dexterous artifice was all that I knew of him. A more distinct 
physiognomy to me was that of Barbey d'Aurevilly. My grand- 
mother, who knew him slightly, and whom he greatly astonished, 
pointed him out to me on our walks as a singularity. This gentle- 
man, wearing over his ear a hat with a border of crimson velvet, 
whose waist was compressed in a redingote with a full skirt, walking 
along and beating with his riding-whip the gold galloon on his tight- 
fitting pantaloons, did not inspire me with a single reflection, for it 
was not a natural instinct with me to search out the reason of things. 
I observed, but not a single thought troubled the clearness of my 
gaze. I was satisfied that people existed who were so easily recog- 
nizable, and certainly M. d'Aurevilly was one of that sort. I 
preserved an instinctive friendliness for him. I united him in my 
sympathy with an invalid who walked on two wooden legs and used 
a couple of canes, and who said good-day to me; with an old pro- 
fessor of mathematics who had only one arm, and who, with rubicund 
face, smiled in his satyr ^s beard at my nurse; and with a huge old 
man who, since the tragic death of his son, had worn clothes made 
from canvas. These four people had the advantage for me of being, 
beyond every one else, perfectly distinct, and I was satisfied with 
this attitude. To this hour I am unable to separate M. d'Aurevilly 
from the recollection of the professor, the invalid, and the madman 
whom he has gone to find again in the world of shadows. They 
were but a part of the statues of Paris for me, those four, like the 
statues on the Pont d*Jdna. The only difference was that the four 
walked, and the statues did not. As for the rest, I never dreamed of it. 
I did not know very well what was meant by life, and, after having 
considered it a good deal since, I avow that I comprehend it scarcely 
any better now. But since I have been carried back to the delightful 
abysses of souvenirs, I will remain there yet another moment. 

And here, first, I see again the little "jJOtocAe" who, with his 
nose in the air and his books on his back, goes early to school, and 
studies the correct things in those rooms wherein such a quantity of 
ink has been spilt and such a quantity of chalk-dust has been scat- 
tered over the blackboard. The place to which he repaired was 
the Stanislas Academy, then rural and full of oddities. The time 
spent there was not burdensome. I have delightful recollections of 



^THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MT CAREER. 349 

it. First of all, that of having been young, which is charming: the 
universe is as old as ourselves ; it is bom, lives, and dies with each 
one of us. It is we who make it; and when there are no longer any 
men there will no longer be any universe. It is thirty years since I 
tasted the blossoming newness of the world. To speak honestly, my 
school was not then what it has become to-day. The house was not 
BO large or so handsome, but it was well arranged for little people like 
myself. The scholars were few, and, as we were not an army, the 
discipline was not warlike. We were given a little liberty, we 
took more, and life was very tolerable. My school has altered 
greatly since then; for work is done there nowadays. We were 
indolent in our time, and I did not wear out my Homer and Yirgil. 
The level of the studies was not high, and for my part I contributed 
nothing to elevate it. Among the sixty scholars, fifty squandered 
their time. The other ten became well-informed, or at least well- 
mannered, for the ancient Stanislas succeeded above everything else in 
inculcating the principles of good breeding, thanks to Livy and Sal- 
lust; thanks also, I think, to his handsome shade-trees and his spa- 
cious courtyard, but especially to his director the Ahh6 Lalanne. 

He was a charming old man, this Abb^ Lalanne. He was ugly, 
but it was a pleasant ugliness. He was ugly like St. Vincent de 
Paul. With that he had the air of being of stone, — not at all hard or 
cold, but like those old stones from which the saints are carved in 
the churches : those stones that have taken on a strange sweetness 
from the caresses of the moon ; that seem to be softened by the dews 
of morning; that are mossy, and look benevolent. His wrinkled 
brow, his huge nose, his gray cheeks, an enormous chin, seemed to 
be hewn from one of those stones ; and his eyes, of a clear gray, bright 
and young, appeared like two flowerets in a ruin. Lively and weak, 
eloquent and a stammerer, it was given him to please by mere whim- 
sical contrast. He was venerable, but provoked a smile. His was 
a great and tender heart, a soul just and holy, and a spirit at once 
lively, impatient, and ingenuous. In him good sense became united 
with the humorous. He was a poet who took much more pleasure 
in versification than Lamartine, but who met with less success. He 
composed little tragedies which we played on feast-days under a shed. 
I recollect about 1858 that we gave a recitation of a Pharamond in 
the costumes of the period. This holy man made the verses in his 
simplicity as a joiner planes a board. But he was an incomparable 
educator, though a little irresolute and wavering. He lived in a 



350 THE OHIEF INFLUENOES ON MY OABEEB. 

pure atmosphere, and he inspired only what was good and grand. I 
had the best of masters, and I was the worst of scholars. 

Our teachers were a sort of monks in redingotes, with whom I 
never succeeded in being friendly. It was not their fault, but, like 
the old Duke Pasquier, I do not love the monks. I have retained 
the most painful remembrance of my first year of Greek. We were 
given forthwith those little pieces of jSlsop, so well known and 
so insignificant. These moral inyths inspired me with a distaste, 
that I still feel. After JBSsop we were given Homer, and in the 
^ Iliad" we were inundated with knowledge and delight. The 
^' niad" is like the sea. Men contemplate the ocean with pensive 
admiration, while the children play at the brink of its expiring 
waves : thus does the divine Homer astonish and entertain the young 
ones. At the first lesson I saw Thetis rising like a white doud 
above the waves. Then enchantment followed enchantment: Nau- 
sicaa and her companions; the palm-tree of Delos; the sky; the 
earth; the tearful smile of Andromache, — I understood and I ap- 
preciated ihem all. I will not dwell longer on the memories of 
the time when, wholly a child, I discovered Greece, further than to 
recall for a moment those happy hours in which, with my head 
thrust into my dictionary at my ink-besmeared desk, I saw divine 
figures with arms of ivory falling against white tunics, and in which I 
heard voices blended in harmonious lament. These prodigies issued 
forth from my Sophocles, for whom I neglected everything else. 

I returned from school each day to my home, where I listened to 
the gossip of the little circle gathered at evening in my father's book- 
shop. There I saw M. de Barante, then more than an octogenarian. 
At school we read with avidity his " History of the Dukes of Bur- 
gundy, " and I looked at the author of these interesting recitals with 
all the agitation and awe of a youthful admiration. But he was an 
excellent man, kind and mild, and loved to render service to those 
about him. His manner recalled the line : 

*Bien ne trouble aa fin : c'est le soir d'un beau jour." 

I now see again, as he was about the year 1860, the blue-eyed, 
bald-fronted, grave, and gentle Louis de Bonchaud, since then IMrec* 
tor of the Museum of the Louvre. Again I hear him speak, in tones 
of sincere affection, of the beauty of Greek and Florentine art. His 
conversation formed one of my earliest delights. I did not under- 
stand all he said, but when one is young it is not necessary to under- 



THE CHIEF IKFLUENOES ON MT CAREER. 351 

Stand eveiything in order to admire everything. I felt that he was 
in possession of both the good and the beautiful. I was convinced 
that he would share the table of the gods and the couch of the 
goddesses ; but the following day in school I comprehended that my 
modest professor did not belong at all to that celestial race, and I 
despised him for it. I was shocked to find him so ignorant of the 
beauties of antiquity. Thus, through the influence of M. de Bon- 
chaud, I remained away from certain classes to spend the time in the 
Louvre before a metope of the Parthenon. But, as Benan has said, 
it is possible to be saved by different methods. 

As to my holidays, I passed the greater part of them with Leclerc 
the younger, who at that time sold antique armor in a little shop at 
the lower end of the Quai Voltaire. Leclerc the younger was old. 
He was small, erect, and lame like Vulcar, and, girt with an apron 
of serge, from morning till night he p^^lshed the weapons which, 
henceforth harmless, were to accomplish iheir peaceful destiny in the 
panoply of a castle. His shop was full of halberds, morions, sallets, 
gorgets, cuirasses, and spurs, and I remember to have seen there a 
target of the fifteenth century, entirely colored with gallant devices. 
Those who have not seen such a memento of chivalry must fail to 
comprehend its marvellous romance. Toledo blades, Saracen armor in 
its infinite grace, — those oval helmets from which fell a network of steel 
meshes as fine as muslin, — and shields of damascened gold, inspired me 
with a lively admiration for those terrible emirs who fought with the 
Christian barons at Ascalon and at Oaza. If the truth were told, 
the helmets and shields of Leclerc the younger did not really date 
from the Crusades ; but I was prone to see in the shop of my old 
friend the coat-of-arms of Yillehardouin and the scimitar of Saladin. 

But the paradisean years of a tender and sagacious childhood are 
passing, and the moments grow short when the eyes of fifteen color 
the old universe with the tints of Aurora. The years of youth which 
are now approaching had a taste often bitter, but whose perfume yet 
remains sweet in the remembrance. At that time I had no desire 
to write. I led a solitary and contemplative life, and as I was study- 
ing nothing I learned much. In fact it is while walking that those 
discoveries are made which are at once moral and beautiful. On the 
other hand, what one finds in a laboratory or in a work-room usually 
amounts to very little, and it is to be observed that professional 
scholars are more ignorant than the generality of other people. How 
often, alone of a morning, have I followed the sinuous paths in the 



853 THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MY CAREER. 

Jardin des Plantes, among the deer and the sheep who thrust their 
heads between the shrnbberies begging for bread. And in that old 
garden, peopled with animals, I seemed to find again the terrestrial 
paradise of my old Bible. Very frequently, however, five or six of 
us met, attracted by an affinity of taste and sentiment. As we had 
nothing to do, we made over the world. I recall with delight our 
walks in the garden of the Luxembourg and under the sombre trees 
in the Avenue de TObservatoire. And in all seriousness I must tell 
you that the wind blowing among the leaves chanted more harmon- 
iously then than it does to-day. More noble and beautiful the sun 
went down among the golden mists of evening. I would ask all my 
friends of that time. Were not those days better than these? A spell 
was on us, and we were happy because we were young. I do not 
know what mystery enveloped us, nor what zeal inspired us. For. 
myself, I was not satisfied unless I expounded the universe as my 
day's task under the plantains of the Luxembourg. Some of us 
have preserved the memory of those youthful conversations, the 
lengthy talks in which Paul Bourget, almost beyond adolescence, 
brought to bear his fine analysis and eloquent inquisitiveness. It 
was something marvellous to hear him, in our walks, talk of the 
poetry of Shelley and of the philosophy of Spinoza. He entered then 
with disquieting boldness the intellectual domain which he has since 
conquered. A constructor of romances, he promised us another and a 
more impartial *' Adolphe" ; a poet, he made admirable verses elegant 
and ingenuous like himself, — verses full of an assumed languishment 
and an airy philosophy ; a critic, he excelled in tracing the history 
of thought, and was incomparable in the analysis of the genius of a 
writer and a philosopher. Already divided between the cult of 
metaphysics and the love of worldly graces, his discourse passed 
readily from the theory of the will to the subject of feminine attire, — 
a foretoken of the romances he has since given to the world. There 
was no perceptible difference in age between himself and the big 
scholars whom he instructed in Greek, Latin, and philosophy, but 
already vigor of mind and the habit of reflection had made him the 
master. His ideas were controlled by an elegant severity which was 
the admiration of our little circle. To our debates, frequently pro- 
longed far into the night, he brought a greater philosophy than the 
others. How many times have we not reconstructed the world amid 
the silence of the deserted avenues in the twinkling light of the stars! 
And now these same stars listen to the disputation of other youths 



THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MY CAREER. 353 

who in their turn reconstruct the universe. Thus the generations ever 
dream dreams equally sublime and vain. 

We were all enthusiastic determinists. One or two among us were 
neo-catholics, but they were full of uneasiness. The fatalists, on the 
contrary, displayed the serenity of a confidence not preserved, alas I 
We know well enough to-day that this romance of the universe is as 
deceptive as all the rest, but then the works of Darwin were our 
Bible. With ardent faith we said : *' A man has come who has 
emancipated men from vain terrors." I cannot refrain from the 
recollection of those frequent visits which, with Darwin under our 
arms, we made to the Jardin des Plantes. As for myself, I entered 
as I would a sanctuary the rooms of the museum crowded with every 
species of organic form, from the stone lilies, the crinoids, and the 
long jaw-bones of the great primitive sauria, to the arched backbone 
of the elephant and the hand of the gorilla. In the centre of the last 
room rose a Venus in marble, placed there as symbolic of an invinci- 
ble and tender force, the multiplier of all animated life. Who will 
restore to me the emotion, artless and sublime, which agitated me 
before that delicious type of human beauty? I contemplated it with 
an intellectual satisfaction accorded to presentiment. The various 
organic forms had insensibly guided me to this one. How I imagined 
that I understood life and love I How sincerely I thought that I had 
surprised the divine plan 1 , 

We had at that period in the Latin Quarter an impassioned senti- 
ment for the natural forces; the works of Taine having greatly con- 
tributed to this frame of mind. He was a determinist with abundant 
evidence and a richness of illustration which created on the intelli^ 
gent youth at the end of the Second Empire an impression deep and 
difficult of comprehension to-day. The working of this powerful 
mind inspired us, toward 1870, with an ardent enthusiasm, a species 
of religion which I called the dynamical cult of life. That which it 
gave was method and observation, fact and thought, philosophy and 
history, — science, in fact. His theory of civilization amazed us. 
Personally, I considered it excellent, nor was I mistaken. But I did 
not then know that every well-constructed theory is equally excellent 
in the sense that they are the indispensable shelves on which to 
arrange facts in the order of detail. In the neighborhood of my 
twentieth birthday I did not understand it so, however, and would 
have been provoked to anger at the suggestion that the system of Taine, 

like every other system, was a mere piece of furniture. Neverthe- 
23 



854 TBE CSI&F INFLUENCes ON MY CAREBR. 

less, it was exactly that. An excellent artificer had conBtnioted it by 
measure. My admiration has not diminished, and I preserve my 
early enjoyment of this masterpiece of intellectual art. I uphold the 
veracity of the system as I did at twenty, because it is logical. A 
philosophical verity resembles the degrees of latitude and longitude 
indicated on the maps. These circles make us acquainted with the 
precise position of the various degrees on the globe. In my sixth 
year, when I first saw a map of the world, I imagined that the lines 
traced there corresponded to tangible realities. I searched for them 
in my walks in the gardens of the Tuileries, but I found no trace of 
them. In scientific order this was the first occasion on which I was 
deceived; the idea that the theory of civilization was not an ab- 
solute truth constituting the second or third repetition of deception. 

About this time Baron Haussmann, unknown to himself, had in 
the service of the prefecture a number of long-haired poets and small 
journalists, and here in the office were read aloud the ChdtimentSj and 
here was glorified the painting of Manet. Paul Yerlaine recopied 
here his Satumian poems on the paper of the administration. Like 
the rest of us, he had completed his studies in various lyceums, and 
was to take his bachelor's degree after having sufficiently studied 
the classics to thoroughly misunderstand them. And as instruction 
leads to'^very thing, he afterward entered an office in town. I do not 
say this in reproach. It was the existence of Fran9ois Copp^, of 
Albert M^rat, of L^on Yalade, and of numerous other poets who were 
prisoners in an office and who went into the country only on Sunday. 

This modest and monotonous existence, favorable to dreaming 
and the patient labor of versification, has been shared by the majority 
of the Parnassians. Almost alone in this circle, M. Jos^ Maria de 
H^rddia, although deprived of the greater part of the treasures of 
his ancestors the conquistadore, still managed to make the appearance 
of a young gentleman and to smoke excellent cigars. His cravats 
were as splendid as his sonnets. But of the sonnets only were we 
jealous. Unanimously we despised wealth. We loved only glory, 
and we still desire it if in somewhat more discreet and an almost secret 
fashion. We asserted — I do not know very well why — our preten- 
sion to impassivity. The great philosopher of the school, M. Xavier 
de Bichard, maintained with fervency that art should be as cold as ice, 
yet we did not so much as perceive that this doctrinaire of impas- 
sivity did not write a verse which was not the vehicle of the violent 
expressions of his passions, political, social, and religious; his 



THE CHIEF INFLUENCES ON MY CAREER. 355 

broad and apostolio brow, his burning eyes, bis ascetic meagreness, 
bis generous eloquence did not enligbten us. It was a glorious time, 
— ^tbat in wbicb we lacked common sense. 

Very often we found ourselves in the Eue Rousselet, narrow and 
dirty, but bordered with gardens, and full of souvenirs dear to the 
heart of a true Parisian. It was here that Madame de la Sabli^re 
came to live when she renounced the world and devoted herself to 
the service of the sick. This charming woman, who had greatly 
loved many things in life, carried nothing to God in her penitence 
but the ruins of her heart and of her beauty. At twenty steps from 
this chamber, where, two hundred years ago, the friend of La Fare 
wept over the still smoking ruins of her wasted life, before a 
window opening upon the garden of the Brotherhood of Saint Jean 
de Dieu, how many vows all fresh with youth and hope have I not 
uttered ! Here lived my friend Adolphe Bacot, then full of dreams 
and projects, cordial, good, and vigorous, whom journalism and 
many romances killed. It is now some years since he died, but in 
those days we had before us the infinite. From that window we 
could see the house where Frangois Copp^e, in a little garden near 
his modest and flowery lodging, composed verses that were as true, 
simple, and amiable as himself. Paul Bourget, his forehead gloomy 
with metaphysics under his adolescent head of hair, was constantly 
there. Copp^e and Bourget visited Barbey d'Aurevilly, who then 
inhabited a little chamber in the same Hue Bousselet where he lived 
for thirty years in noble poverty : they brought him that most delicious 
thing, a youthful admiration. 

But I have drifted too long amid the delights of remembrance, 
and I have sufficiently extolled the splendors of a life of poverty and 
liberty belonging to another time. I must retrace the precipitous 
currents of the twenty years that have gone, and return to the realities 
of to-day. The sun sinks to rest upon the Seine, evening falls upon 
the quays, and the phantom I have evoked is lost in the shadows. 
Adieu I that other self whom I have lost and whom I shall never find. 
Happy is he who can see again the image of his early youth and not 
experience a single sentiment of regret, of bitterness, or of disillusion. 

Anatole France. 



THE CENTENARY OF KEAT& 

Seeing that John Keats was bom on the 29th of October, 1795, and 
that the editor of The Fobum desires that some attention be paid in its 
pages to the centenary of that birthday, one not unnaturally reverts to 
the well-known and amazing saying of a famous contemporary of the poet, 
whose centenary falls but five weeks later than his own, but who out- 
lived him sixty years : " Poetry, except in such cases as that of Keats, 
where the whole consists in a weak-eyed, maudlin sensibility, and a 

certain vague, random tunefulness of nature " . So stands it written, 

as an adequate appraisement and final dismissal of Keats's poetical 
claims, in Oarlyle's " Essay on Bums." 

The first sensation of the modem reader who comes upon this 
remarkable appreciation is of mere amazement After that passes, it 
gives place to various reflections. One of the first of these is how much 
less courage it took to make this deliverance in 1828 than it would take 
in 1895, when the subject has fulfilled "his century, the term commonly 
fixed as the test of literary merit" Even a Carlyle, writing now, and 
in the same irritation against a poet whose poetry did not enable him to 
" get forrader " in his attempt to reconcile Scotch Calvinism and Grerman 
philosophy, would scarcely venture to dismiss the claims of so estab- 
lished a poet in so sunmiary a manner. The manner, indeed, is that 
of the " Quarterly " and " Blackwood," and, to the generation of read- 
ers of poetry that now is, seems of an incredible and revolting insolence. 
But, as Hooker has reminded us, " the manner of men's writing must 
not alienate our hearts from the truth, if it appear they have the 
truth." Beaders of Carlyle will be loth to believe that the sentence has 
no meaning, and they are interested to know both what he means, and 
what of truth there is in his meaning. Let us hear him out, to the end 
of his sentence at least, omitting the abusive or disparaging epithets, as 
much for the sake of deamess as for his own : 

" Poetry, except in suoh cases as that of Keats, where the whole ooosistB in 
sensibility and tunefulness of nature, is no separate faculty, no organ which can 
be superadded to the rest, or disjoined from them ; but ratiier the result of their 
general harmony and completion.** 



THE CENTENARY OF KEATS. 357 

Thus disembarrassed and completed, the judgment ceases to be 
monstrous, and becomes at least intelligible. Indeed it raises clearly 
enough the question which, in one form or another, has vexed all the 
subsequent commentators, — ^Was the poetic gift of Keate, after all, 
anything more than sensibility and timef ulness ? 

Any readers who are attracted by the title of this paper may be 
presumed to be familiar with the admirable Introduction of Mattiiew 
Arnold to the selections from Keats given in Professor Ward's anthol- 
ogy. They will remember that the tone of the Introduction is 
apologetic as well as eulogistic ; that the critic feels that the admirers 
of Keats are, so to speak, on their defence. This is not wholly the 
result of the critic's customary literary method of abasing his subject 
in order that he may subsequently exalt him, willing as the critic in 
this case shows himself to give the devil's advocate every latitude, 
and near to a canonization as the final exaltation comes. It is in part 
perhaps the traditional contempt of Englishmen for a man and poet who 
allowed himself to be *' snuffed out by an articla" It is true that the 
tradition that Keats was the victim of his reviewers had been finally 
and forever disposed of by Lord Houghton's "Life" a generation 
before Mr. Arnold wK>te ; but a tradition that had been published and 
accepted by Shelley, and condensed into an epigram by Byron, died 
very hard. The odds are that " the man in tiie street " to-day, if 
he happen to have heard of Keats at all, will have heard that he was 
killed by unfavorable criticism on his poema But there was some- 
thing more than the tradition to account for the apologetic attituda 
There were not only the love-letters which came to light long after the 
publication of Lord Houghton's biography, but there was much in the 
poems themselves that gave coimtenance to the tradition, and that 
represented the poet as an enervated weakling and voluptuary : and 
Bdther of these testimonies could be gainsaid, since they were his own. 
Carlyle's sentence was based purely upon the poems, and, loudly as it 
may proclaim the deficiencies of its author, the reader of Keats, when 
he has recovered from his amazement, has to own that he sees what it 
means. Even Mr. Swinburne — who in this instance rather curiously 
concerns himself with the character as a man of a poet whose 
verses he admires — ^makes his concessions concerning the poems with 
rash generosity. " The * Ode to a Nightingale,' " he says, in his ener- 
getic way, "one of the finest masterpieces of human work in all 
times and for all ages, is immediately preceded, in all the editions 
now current, by some of the most vulgar and fidsome doggerel ever 



858 THE CENTENAEY OP KEATS. 

whimpered by a vapid and effeminate rhymester in the sicUy stage of 
whelphood." The only edition before me, except that of Lord Hough- 
ton, in which the " Ode to a Nightingale " is preceded by the " Ode 
to Melancholy," is one in which it is preceded by the juvenile " Imita- 
tion of Spenser," which Mr. Swinburne can scarcely have meant, and 
which certainly is not adequate to infuriate anybody: and indeed 
Keats wrote nothing to which the description can with scientific exact- 
ness be applied 

The citations are at any rate evidence that the admirers of Keats 
feel that they are bound to be his defenders also, and his defenders 
against himself, when they contend that, if he had lived, his imsurpassed 
and scarcely equalled power of expression would have found an ampler 
field, a larger form, a more adequate subject-matter. " Our greatest poet 
since Shakespeare by his promise," as Wordsworth by his performance, 
Mr. Arnold calls him. His own modest epitaph upon himself has 
been already cancelled by posterity. Shall we substitute for it an 
adaptation of Franz Schubert's : " The art of music buried here a rich 
possession but yet fairer hopes"? This question inevitably recurs 
with the centenary of the poet, and of course it is not really answera- 
bla We are all at one with Mr. Arnold when he says that Keats " is 
with Shakespeare " in the felicity and magic of his expression. Indeed 
no discerning reader can ever have read Keats without being struck by 
the magical quality of expression which he shares with Shakespeare 
alona But is there evidence in what he did that it lay in him to match 
Shakespeare also in what Mr. Arnold calls " the architectonics of poetry, 
the faculty which presides at the evolution of works like the * Aga- 
memnon * and * Lear ' " ? " For this," the critic says, " he was not ripe," 
and leaves us with the intimation that it was only his unripeness that 
constituted his incompetency to equal the great monuments of poetry. 
How far is the intimation justified by the poetry of Keats ? 

One need not have read very much verse to be assured that there 
are poets to whom poetry is a means only of expressing what might be 
expressed otherwise, and poets to whom poetical expression is an end 
in itsell It is the same indeed in other arts. The vocation of some 
painters consists evidently enough in a visual excitability by forms or 
colorS| and of many musicians in a sensuous delight in tonea A 
musician has even been heard to say that he preferred to hear songs 
in foreign languages because his understanding of the words disturbed 
his enjoyment There are poets, to whom the title can by no means 
be denied, whose poetry is in like manner a technical mastery. In the 



THE CENTENAEY OF KEATS. 859 

existdng state of English literature one may parody Oxenstiem, saying : 
"Go and see with how little wisdom poetry may be written." For 
felicity of epithet and magical music of words may become to the 
maker of verses what the tones of his Stradivarius are to a violinist 
Nay there are two fairly well recognized " schools " of violin-playing 
itself, of which one respects the meaning of the composition, and the 
other merely beauty of tona The poet who is independent of his 
matter may carry his technical perfection so far that we may find it 
hard to deny him the title of a great poet ; but we may still refuse to 
admit that he is a great man. 

Tennyson is reported to have said of himself that he did not 
particularly envy Shakespeare his power of expression, but to have 
added, " The difference is, there is nothing in ma" I do not vouch for 
the authenticity of the anecdote, but it is very suggestiva The young 
Shakespeare — the Shakespeare of the poems and the sonnets — it is 
whom Keats most vividly recalls. Walter Bagehot, doing injustice to 
their art, dismisses the sonnets with something less than his usual 
discernment in saying that " as first-of- April poetry they are perfect " ; 
but upon the " Venus and Adonis " he makes a remark that is very 
relevant to our purpose : 

" The type of such productionB is KeatB*s 'Endjmion.' We mean that it 
IB the type, not as giving the abstract perfection of this sort of art, but because it 
shows both its excellences and its defects in a very marked and prominent manner. 
In this poem there are no i>assions and no actions, there is no art and no life ; but 
there is beauty, and that is meant to be enough, and to a reader of one-and-twenty 
it is enough and more.** 

It would be enough, but it is doubtful whether many readers of 
one-and-twenty find enough beauty in ** Endymion " to make them 
read it through, as Shelley partly justifies the " Quarterly " reviewers 
by intimating that he could not The beauty is in purple patches that 
are not frequent enough or splendid enough to entice the reader from 
one to the other. " Venus and Adonis " is full of episodes, but in 
" Endymion " there is scarcely a clue of narrative, that the reader has 
patience to follow, from which the episodes diverga Shakespeare had 
always a story to tell, and, with all his excursiveness, kept the journey 
and the journey's end in view, while Keats's excursions, both in " En- 
dymion " and in " Hyperion," — superior in coherency and consecutive- 
ness as that is,— are actual meanderings " and find no end in wandering 
mazes lost" In ** Lamia " the utility is shown of the discipline he had 
imposed upon himself in a study of Dryden, and in the restraint of a 



860 THE CENTENARY OP KEATS. 

metre wliicli bound liim to coherency if not to consecutiveness. It is 
the one of the three that is nearest to a narrative poem and not an 
assemblage of passages, while its passages are finer than those of either 
of its predecessors. '' Isabella," again, lacks unity, lacks reality, lacks 
illusion, — except in some isolated phrases lacks charm. It is in the 
" Eve of St Agnes " alone, the shortest of all, that his charm is fully 
felt, and that he has produced a tale in verse that can fairly be ranked 
with the verse of the lyrics. And even the " Eve of St Agnes " is not a 
tale in verse, but rather a succession of pictures, — ^pictures still vivid 
in the memories of readers who cannot recall what it was that hap- 
pened ; the picture of the beadsman in the chill chapel ; the picture of 
Porphyro in the shadow of the arch ; the picture of Madeline bathed in 
the " warm gules " of the transmuted winter moonlight These succeed 
each other till the ^^ Prospero " who evokes them breaks his wand and 
brings us back with a word from his world to our own, — 

And they are gone : ay, ages long ago 
These lovers fled awaj into the storm. 

In truth, the poet had no more a story to tell than he had a message 
to deliver. If he coxdd not present a story in the form of narration, 
even less could he present it in the form of action. The dramas are 
not only complete failures for their purpose of stage-play& It seems 
plain that Keats undertook the form not from any vocation, but 
from the consideration, as patent then as now, that a successful drama 
is the most profitable of literary ventures. No more artistic consid- 
eration would have induced him to go into a partnership in which 
he was to put into verse the speech of characters created in situations 
devised by his collaborator. The event justified him in saying, when 
another dramatic subject was proposed to him, " I will do all this my- 
self " ; for the fragment of " King Stephen " has far more life and 
movement than '' Otho the Great" But it is not from the point of 
view of the London manager alone, whose point of view the poet tried 
to take, — ^it is also from the point of view of the modem reader that the 
plays are failures. We have only to ask what would have been their 
fate if their author had written nothing else, to be assured that it 
would have been swift oblivion. Neither the completed work of 
collaboration, nor the fragment of Keats's own, denotes any real instinct 
for dramatic construction or for dramatic characterization. The fame 
of their author's lyrics keeps them in print, but does not keep them 
really aliva The interest of them resides scarcely even in passages, 
but in detached Elizabethan line& 



THE CENTENARY OF KEATS. 861 

Even among the lyrics it is necessary to distingoisL True songs 
Keats did not write, — songs that sing themselves in the memory, or 
have appealed to musicians by their ^^ cantabile " quality. Of his dozen 
essays in that kind not one is comparable, in aptness for its purpose, — 
not to say with the songs of Shakespeare or of Bums, — ^with the songs 
of Scott or the " stanzas for music " of Byron. The " Meg Merrilies," 
which Mr. Swinburne has praised for ^' the simple force of spirit and 
style which distinguishes the genuine ballad manner," yet lacks the 
lilt of the genuine ballad movement This movement Keats has once 
attained in a ballad too complex and modem in the sentiment, too 
cimoiis and " precious " in the diction, to exemplify the genuine ballad 
manner, but which is nevertheless one of the most perfect of his poems, 
— ^the beautiful " Belle Dame sans MercL" It is noteworthy that while 
none of Keats's songs are simg, this lyrical ballad has approved itself to 
a composer as the libretto for a piece of programme music for the 
orchestra. It is in the more artificial forms of the sonnet and the ode 
that Keat's lyrical gift was really shown, and it is these that make him 
immortal The sonnet is indeed a form that has become so artificial as 
to have been employed in our language for three centuries as a technical 
exercise in versification. That Keats labored it with diligence there is 
external as well as internal evidence to show, such as the competitions 
with Hunt and with Shelley, in which the oldest and least famous of 
the three was so clearly the victor that it is only his sonnets upon 
" The Grasshopper and the Cricket," and upon " The Nile " that are 
much remembered or very memorable. But that Keats attained a 
complete mastery of the form, and wrought in it with perfect freedom, 
is attested by the sonnets that are of the same rank with the odes. 
When Mr. Swinburne says : " He has certainly left us one perfect son- 
net of the first rank, and as certainly he has left us but one," — ^I for 
one am so much at a loss that I do not know whether the critic means 
to designate the sonnet on Chapman's Homer, the " Last Sonnet," the 
" Four Seasons " or th< 



" When I have fear that I may cease to he." 

In all these things there is no indication of the ''architectonic" 
power which Mr. Arnold seems ready to ascribe to Keat& In spite of 
his affinity to Shakespeare in right of his magical power of words, it is 
not Shakespeare whom Keats most resembles, and much less Milton, 
to whom he owed only the same obligations with every writer of 
English verse since Milton's tima It was not for nothing that his 



362 THE CENTENARY OF KEATS. 

first published lines were an imitation of Spenser, and that Shakespeare s 

master was Keats^s master too. Let it be enough for the disciple to be 

as his master. Keats was an Elizabethan bom out of due time, but it 

was not in "the pell-mell of Shakespeare's men and women," but in the 

fairyland of Spenser, that he lived and had his being. When he says " he 

looks upon fine phrases like a lover," he is Spenser's discipla When 

he sings — 

'' Lo, I must tell a tale of Chivalry 
For large white plumes are dancing in mine eye,** — 

— it is in Spenser's world that he is dreaming. When he exclaims, 
the year after Waterloo, — 

— " the silver flow 
Of Hero's tears, the swoon of Imogen^ 
Fair Pastorella in the bandit's den, 
Are things to brood on with more ardency 
Than the death-day of empires," — 

— ^he is again Spenser's successor. And when finally he writes, " I have 
loved the principle of beauty in all things," he is still the scholar of 
the poet of whom Taine says that " he has succeeded in seizing beauty 
in its fulness because he cared for nothing but beauty." 

Here, in fact, seems to lie the secret of Keats's charm. His ^' sensi- 
bility " was a sensibility to beauty so deUcate that, to robuster natures, 
it may well have seemed morbid, and his " tunefulness " a capacity of 
expressing it which we may well agree that no man but Shakespeare 
has quite matched in English words. Upon both these things, — upon 
sensibility to beauty and upon power of poetical expression, — ^Buskin 
must be admitted as an expert witness, and upon both he has had 
occasion to give his testimony. " Turner's sensibility to beauty," he 
says, " was perfect ; deeper far, therefore, than Byron's ; only that of 
Keats and Tennyson being comparable with it" And in another 
place, of Keats's art : '^ I have come to that pass of admiration for him 
now that I dare not read him, so discontented he makes me with my 
own work." The perfection of Keats's art, the sureness of success 
with which he translated into words feelings that but for him those 
who underwent them would have abandoned as inexpressible, make 
rather startling the suggestion that there was anything to which he 
was inadequate because for it "he was not ripe." Indeed it is the 
very ripeness of Keats's art at its best that distinguishes it above the 
work of so many generations of his elders, and makes it so astonishing 
as the work of a youth, so far is it removed, in its security and ease of 
mastery, from the struggles for expression of inmiaturity, from the 



THE CENTENARY OF KEATS. 363 

mere glibness of precocity. It is the sense rather of over-ripeness than 
of unripeness that it gives, of a sensibility hectic and excessive: When 
the comparison with Shakespeare is pushed to an intimation that if 
Keats had survived he might have challenged Shakespeare's supremacy, 
one may well recall another saying of the French historian of English 
literature, that in Shakespeare's case and in Shakespeare's time '^ the 
solidity of the muscles balanced the sensibility of the nerves; that 
genius was then a blossom, and not, as now, a disease." 

One cannot conceive of Keats, with his equipment of " sensibility and 
tunefulness," as designing another "Agamemnon" or "Lear," but one 
can conceive of him as dreaming another long and beautiful and happy 
dream like the " Fagry Queen," and describing it with the magical crafts- 
manship he shares with Shakespeare. That craftsmanship it was per- 
mitted him to show only in what, after all, are fragments. Mr. Pal- 
grave, in his " Golden Treasury," has chosen what he deems the best 
lyrics of Keats. They are eleven in nimiber. It does not seem to me 
that in the selection he has shown quite his usual sure and almost in- 
fallible tact There is certainly nothing included that we could do 
without, but there are omitted the " Eve of St Agnes" (doubtless on 
account of its length), the fragment " To May " (doubtless because it is 
a fragment), but also the odes " To Psyche," " To Melancholy," and 
" To a Grecian Urn," — ^for reasons which to most lovers of Keats must 
be quite incomprehensible. Add these five, and there are sixteen 
poems, none of great length, which I think are all that these lovers of 
Keats will agree upon as quite indispensable to themselves and to the 
poet's fame, interesting and in part beautiful as many others may be. 
Of the odes, one cannot do better than copy Mr. Swinburne's saying : 
" Greater lyrical poetry the world may have seen than any that is in 
these ; lovelier it surely never has seen, nor ever can it possibly see." 
We cannot look forward to any time, when English poetry is stUl read, 
when these things are not held to be among its glories ; nor can we 
doubt that the second centenary of John Keats will be at least as note- 
worthy as the first throughout the English-speaking world 

Montgomery Schuyler. 



COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 

For the past three years I have been active in a movement intended 
to unite the orchardists of California in marketing their fruit The 
importance of this movement may be understood from the fact that the 
orchards and vineyards of California now probably represent a larger 
investment than any other industrial interest, and that, imless certain 
permanent reforms in the trade can be effected, there is danger that a 
large portion of the capital invested will be lost The mortgage in- 
debtedness is very serious; the general depression in values has 
temporarily wiped out the equities of the nominal owners ; and while 
a partial recovery is doubtless to be expected in due time, it is not 
believed by the best informed that, under present conditions of market- 
ing, our orchards and vineyards can continue to maintain those who oc- 
cupy them in their present standard of comfort We are endeavoring 
by a general popular movement to remove the evils which oppress u& 

The difficulty in the case is not failure of crops. Our trouble has been 
to get our product to the distant consumer at prices low enough to secure 
a good demand, and from the gross proceeds to reserve for the producer 
sufficient to sustain him in reasonable comfort The fruit business 
cannot, like the wheat or pork trade, be expanded or contracted from 
year to year ; orchards and vineyards, once tended to maturity, will 
yield their product, which cannot be changed or curtailed. Our fruits 
are not like those of most Eastern farmers, — ^a by-product from an acre 
or two, requiring no attention until harvest : to cultivate them properly 
is the serious business of our lives. Fruit-raising, as pursued in Cali- 
fornia, is the severest and most exhausting of agricultural occupations, 
though the poetic side of it appeals so strongly to the imagination 
as to cause a constant drift into the business of those physicsdly and 
financially unable to prosecute it successfully. There are also serious 
difficulties growing out of our position, thousands of miles by overland 
routes from our principal markets, and exposed to competition hon^ 
producers much more accessible to them ; in fact it is only the excel- 
lent quality of our product that enables us to compete at alL 

In all our fruit industries we are laboring under the disadvantage 



COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 365 

of an output produced under an unnatural stimulus, and increasing 
faster than new markets can be created. The stories of enormous 
profite derived from fruit-raifling, so widely circulated by Oalifomian 
land-sellers, are all, I presume, true; I have inquired into many of 
them and found them correct For example, in 1898, from ten acres 
of orchard, one of our largest growers sold 55 tons of dried prunes 
at 5 cents per pound, — ^a yield, as trees are usually planted, of 110 
pounds of dried fruit to the tree, with a money value of $660 per acre, 
gross. The gentleman, however, has hundreds of acres of prunes 
among which the yield per acre of that ten acres could easily be dupli- 
cated, and perhaps exceeded, by single acres ; but he has never taken 
the pains to publish their average yield. The acceptance of such stories 
by the unthinking as typical of the profits of Califomian fruit-raising 
has induced an unnatural growth in the industry. Instead of 110 
pounds of dried prunes to the tree, the average yield of prune-trees, 
during their bearing years, is probably less than 15 pounds, and the 
average number of crops secured before the death of the trees probably 
does not exceed ten. 

Whenever there is general trouble in an industry, the majority of 
those engaged in it blame every one concerned in it but themselves ; 
those in serious distress tend to become denunciatory and violent ; and 
it is only under such circumstances that codperation on any large scale 
can be attempted with much hope of success. Of course the real cause 
of the trouble in our fruit business is bad judgment on the part of a 
large number-— doubtless a majority — of those engaged in it, in sup- 
posing possible, from any agricultural employment, average or con- 
tinued profits like those which a few in California have certainly re- 
ceived in' some years from fruit-raising. Indulging in these hopes, 
they ran recklessly into debt, and now they suffer. The fruit busi- 
ness is a staple one which will outlive its difficulties; but the troubles 
which specxdation unfailingly brings forth led directly to the codpera- 
tive movement which I shall describe, and makes its success possible, 
though not certain. 

While our own bad judgment was the real cause of the trouble, it 
was not so considered by those in the business, and when the expected 
incomes were not forthcoming we believed that we were being robbed, 
— ^first by the transportation companies, and next by the middlemen 
necessarily employed in placing our product in distant markets. The 
fact that the transportation companies always receive a larger share of 
the gross proceeds of our eastward fresh-fruit shipments than do the 



366 COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 

producers is accepted without question as evidence of robbery, in for- 
getfulness of the fact that on many products, including fresh fruit, 
the cost of a long transcontinental haul is necessarily greater than the 
cost of production, and without considering that if the present freight 
rate of $1.25 per hundred pounds were cut in half, as we are now 
demanding, the consequent reduction in Eastern retail prices, if any, 
would hardly be noticeable, and quite insufficient to materially extend 
our markets, — except in so far as increased profits to middlemen im- 
pelled them to greater activity, which of course is desirabla As to 
the " middlemen," there are of course among them, as among farmers, 
the honest and the dishonest ; but a dishonest middleman does more 
injury to an industry than a dishonest farmer, as his operations are 
larger. One difficulty lies in the fact that the standard of honesty in 
the commission business is not fixed. The most honorable men in the 
business habitually do things which in law constitute felony, but which 
universal custom excuses, if not justifies ; but loose practices by the 
honest open the door to worse practices by the dishonest or the 
reckless. The profits of the commission men and the amount of 
dishonesty are doubtless greatly exaggerated in the minds of an 
exasperated people seeking a scapegoat, but at the same time there are 
certainly evils in our methods of distribution which can be remedied 
by concerted action, provided that such action be wise and vigorous 
and lasts long enough to produce the desired result We are endeavor- 
ing, with varying success, in the different branches of the fruit industry, 
to secure and sustain such concerted action. So far the wine-makers 
and the orange-growers have succeeded best The movements with 
which I have been connected have as their object the far more difficult 
task of uniting for common action the thousands of deciduous-fruit 
growers scattered over the entire State. Some detail in description is 
perhaps essential to a proper understanding of our efforts. 

I was one of many hundreds of fools in California who imagined 
that an orchard could be made profitable to an owner while engaged in 
other business, and, having learned otherwise in that school whose 
instruction fails not, I determined to devote myself to my orchard. 
In ten yeare of maintaining an orchard in which I myself did no work, 
I learned many lessons, of which the only one pertinent to this paper 
is that when I came to sell my fruit I did not know what to ask for 
it For a time we could sell, some at one price, and some at another, 
in the old-fashioned way, to buyers who circulated among us, making 
the best bargains they could and collecting the goods for shipment, 



COOPERATION AMONG FAHMEItS. 861 

While we could sell our product in this way we did not complain, 
although we on our farms could know little or nothing of the condi- 
tions of distant markets, and the dealers, better informed than we, and 
not burdened with the risk of production, in the long run made money 
while some of us did not As our output increased there was an in- 
creasing difficulty in selling for cash; our years of foolish bragging 
about our enormous yield having created among dealers everywhere a 
profound distrust of our ability to dispose of it, and a conviction that 
prices would rapidly falL Those who had been buyers refused to 
handle our product except on commission ; the agents of commission 
houses circulated among us, buying outright, sometimes at low rates, 
from those in most need of money, and soliciting consignments from 
others ; and, as our product increased, the State became flooded with 
agents of Eastern houses, many of whom, by flattering promises and 
liberal advances, took advantage of the poor and inexperienced. The 
result of these methods applied to a rapidly increasing output thousands 
of miles from market was undoubtedly very bad indeed. Growers gen- 
erally came to believe that their depressed markets were solely the 
result of the malignant operations of designing and reckless men who 
had conspired to rob them. 

It is diflScult to make general statements in r^ard to our fruit busi- 
ness which shall be at once concise and correct, as different branches 
are necessarily conducted by different agencies and different methods. 
What I have just been saying applies especially to the dried-fruit trade, 
which is the largest interest ; but the fresh-fruit trade is in even worse 
condition. Fresh fruit which yields the producer 2 cents per pound 
must cost the Eastern consumer 8 to 10 cents per pound, on account 
of the cost of handling and transportation. Most of our fresh fruit, 
however, fails to yield the producer even one cent per pound. In many 
cases the grower not only contributes the packages and commissions,' 
but has to pay some portion of the freight on fruit thus donated to its 
consumers. My next-door neighbor tells me that on the net result of 
Li8 last year's eastward shipment he owes his commission merchant 
$40. He raised his fruit, packed it, and paid $40 additional for the 
benefit of the consumers. A grower in one of our best districts has 
framed in his sitting-room — unless his necessities have compelled him to 
use it lately — a check for $10, representing his net proceeds of one 
carload (2,400 pounds) of fruit, — substantially one cent per twenty- 
pound crate, or about one-ninth of what his packages alone cost I 
These facts are not trivial ; they are the source of our social discontenti 



868 COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 

In the spring of 1892 some of the progressive orchardists of our neigh- 
boring county of Santa Clara issued a call for a mass meeting of fruit- 
growers at San Jos6 to consider whether it were not possible to remedy 
these evils. At that meeting I heard, for the first time, the details of 
management of a successful codperative association of orchardists known 
as the " West Side Fruit-Growers' Association " of Santa Clara. This 
concern — ^then one year old — ^had purchased grounds and appliances, 
and had dried and marketed the fruit of its stockholders to their satis- 
faction. Encouraged by their success, the mass meeting referred to was 
called for the purpose of creating a larger and wider organization for 
the purpose of marketing the fruit of that and similar societies which 
might be formed, and the product of individuals drying their own fruit 
The meeting resulted in the establishment of such a concern, known as 
the Santa Clara County Fruit Exchange, whose sales in 1898, with that 
of other similar associations subsequently formed in that county, 
amounted to considerably more than $500,000, and which was able, 
in a very severe year, by the publication of information and by pre- 
venting consignments, to give a strength and stability to the market 
which it had never before known. I served this Exchange as an 
officer and director for a year. 

In October, 1898, our State Horticultural Society met at San Jos<£ 
to observe the workings of these institutions ; and, having noted the 
details of the commercial operations on a large scale conducted by 
plain farmers, the Society in its enthusiasm resolved that a State Fruit 
Exchange should be founded, whose duty it shoxdd be to organize the 
fruit-growers of the entire State for similar purposes, and appointed a 
committee to carry out the plan. This committee, in pursuance of its 
instructions, organized and incorporated the California Fruit Exchange, 
with headquarters at San Francisco, first, however, calling a mass 
meeting for a more general indorsement This meeting, at which 
neariy all the fruit-growing counties were represented, indorsed and 
accepted the work already accomplished, chose permanent directors 
for the first year, and formally recognized the State Exchange as " the 
authorized representative of the fruit-growers of California'' 

The movement which I have briefly described is by no means the 
banning of codperative fruit-marketing in this State. The California 
Fruit Union was incorporated some years ago for marketing fresh 
fruits, and for several years its sales exceeded $1,000,000 annually, and 
served a most valuable purposa A State Dried-Fruit Union was 
organized a year or two later, but was a failure. The raisin-growers of the 



COOPEBATION AMONG FARMERS. 369 

San Joaquin Yallej have made great struggles to organize, but for lack 
of means to supply the necessary plant have been compelled to unite 
with commercial packers in organizations whose main purpose it is to 
secure the same price for the same grade to all growers, and to keep 
goods in this State until sold. These organizations have never been 
successful The orange-growers of Southern Calif omia succeeded in so 
organizing that for the last two years the codperative associations have 
controlled the bulk of the oranges. 

The exact functions of our cooperative fruit societies hardly need a 
description. They are simply fruit-drying and commission houses, 
transacting their business precisely like other commercial firms engaged 
in the same business. They are owned by the neighboring farmers, 
who by stock subscriptions supply the necessary capital, and they 
usually handle the fruit of their stockholders only. The number of 
stockholders varies from 25 or 80 in the smaller societies, to 500 or 600 
in the Santa Clara County Fruit Exchanga In Southern California 
from 80 to 90 per cent of the orange-growers belong to the exchanges ; 
about 90 per cent of the wine-makers belong to the wine-makers' cor- 
poration, — ^the most effective of all, as it nearest approaches the 
ordinary commercial " trust" The cooperative societies charge a com- 
mission just as competitive firms do ; but, instead of charging a fixed 
commission, the total expense is computed at the end of the season 
and charged upon the total output When an owner is paid in full 
before the close of the season, he is charged the usual commercial 
rate; and if the rate charged is more than the cost, he receives a 
rebate at the close. As the societies never buy, and consequently 
need little capital, no attempt is made to increase capital from the 
profits of business. Thus far the cost of selling deciduous fruits 
cooperatively has been about the same as by selling through com- 
mercial firma This has doubtless been a disappointment to the 
majority, but they have had their profit in other ways. With ex- 
perience they should be able to make a small saving, but there is really 
no great profit in a commission business honestly conducted : the main 
profit of cooperation is the suppression of irregular practices. 

But while the operations of the local societies do not materially 
differ from those of commercial houses, the California Fruit Exchange 
is something different, and of a much higher character. The question 
with us is whether it is not above the comprehension of the majority of 
those whose support is essential This we are patiently waiting to dis- 
cover. This Exchange seeks to unite all orchardists of California for 
certain common purposes, but not itself to manipulate or sell the prod- 



370 COOPERATION AMONG FAEMERS. 

uct I have stated that the cost of cooperative selling is equal to that 
of selling through commission houses. This is partly due to inex- 
perience and the lack of executive vigor, which must always be a 
feature of cooperation, but mainly to a vicious duplication of 
expense, or to the omission of expense which is essential to proper 
management For example, the operation of selling fruit is simple 
enough if you only know what price to set so as to move your product 
when you wish to, and yet secxire the highest price which conditions 
warrant But to learn the facts upon which sound judgment as to 
these transactions can be based is a labor of infinite detail, requir- 
ing decided ability ; for in a cooperative marketing society, in which 
all products of the same grade are mingled and sold together, and 
the same net proceeds paid to all, the management is compelled so 
to frame its policy from the beginning of the season to the end as to 
ensure the best results to all its members. This requires a fund of 
information, a touch with the market, and a breadth of view not 
attainable by a small society of farmers; nor have our strongest 
deciduous-fruit societies ever yet spent enough money in securing the 
necessary information to enable them to become as good judges of the 
probable course of the market as our best commission men or the great 
merchants. One function of the State Exchange is to do this work at 
the common expense, and for the benefit of all, better than any single 
society could aflEord to do it In the same way the advertising of our 
common product, the opening of new markets, the testing of new 
methods, the securing of uniform and the best methods of grading and 
packing, are all essential to the profitable management of our crops, 
and should be done by a common agency maintained at the conmion 
expensa It is also doubtless true that, loudly as we farmers denounce 
trusts and declaim in favor of cooperation, as a matter of fact that form 
of cooperation which comes nearest to doing for us what is accom- 
plished by the most successful trusts is the form which will best suit us, 
and what we really seek ; * but to obtain any such result requires con- 

' It is amusing to observe the unwillingness of farmers to acknowledge that 
the principle of our organizations is identical with that of the great commercial 
trusts. Of course, the fact is that such oo6peration as we are engaged in is 
simply the organization of one class to compete more effectively with others. 
The reason why the great commercial trusts are objectionable, in spite of the 
economic saving involved In their methods, is that they are strong, and, being 
strong, will probably abuse their power just as we would could we attains 
like strength. Our societies are not thus objectionable, because, with human 
nature as it is, we can never be strong enough to be dangerous ; the most we can 
expect is to protect ourselves against the better organized classes. We are no bet- 
ter than the conmiercial classes ; we simply have less ability and less strength. 



cx)6peration among FARMEES. 871 

trol of the output, which can be gained only by organization. It is 
therefore to the interest of those growers who are organized, to induce 
others to join them in efforts for the common benefit ; and this duty is 
part of the work of the State Exchange, and the first entered upon. 
While there was never any intent that it should engage in a direct 
commercial business, it was really to do so should occasion demand. 

The difficulty of maintaining the State Exchange has arisen from 
the fact that its operations required immediate outlay, while its bene- 
fits, although obvious, could not be computed in definite percentages 
on any main product It could be sustained only by a light tax spread 
over a large output, and few were willing to subject their fruit to the tax, 
since they believed that the work would be done for them for nothing 
if they did not contributa' Subscriptions for stock have been made 
to a considerable extent, and the capital so raised has been expended 
in promoting local organizations, in the expectation that these organiza- 
tions would unite with the older ones in subjecting their fruit to a 
uniform tax for the support of the State Exchange, and in replacing 
the capital spent in their organization. Thus far, however, the local 
societies, once organized, show a disposition to ignore the common 
parent, and leave it without the means to do the work which they can- 
not do well themselves. I do not know whether this state of things 
will continue ; we think it will not, but that the close union desired 
will finally come about as designed : if not, the result must be the 
gradual disintegration of the weaker societies, for the reason that they 
cannot manage their marketing so wisely or so cheaply as the commis- 
sion houses. The commission houses will therefore necessarily get the 
business, and this will leave the stronger societies too weak to have 
much influence in the market We think that, as experience reveals 
this condition, the desired union will be brought about 

While the California Fruit Exchange aims to unite all branches of 
the fruit industry in that State, its operations thus far have been 
mostly directed to the organization of deciduous-fruit growers. The 
well-organized orange-growers express their readiness to unite with 
other branches for certain purposes as soon as the latter have so organ- 
ized themselves as to control the necessary revenue. The raisin- 
growers of the San Joaquin Valley are individually ready to join, but 
have not thus far succeeded in effective organization. Co5peration 
outside the wine and orange interests does not yet command the sup- 

^ We find in oodperation what is predicted for sodaliBiii, — ^moet of our energy 
is spent in getting shirks to do their part 



872 COOPERATION AMONG FARMERa 

port of the largest growers ; to a man, they desire to see it go on, but 
they will not aid the movement except by talk. Their reasons are 
various. Some are so involved by indebtedness to commission houses 
that they are not really at liberty to cooperate; others are of the 
opinion that in the struggle for existence they will survive and be bet- 
ter off if they do not help others to survive with them. And so it 
results that our deciduous-fruit organizations represent mostly small 
growers not very firmly held together, and controlling possibly one- 
fifth of the total output 

There can be no question, however, of the immense value of the 
codperative movement of the past three years to the fruit-growers of 
California. Besides the strong organizations of the wine-growers and 
the orange-growers, there are some thirty or forty societies of decidu- 
ous-fruit growers — ^by far the strongest being those of Santa Clara 
County — ^which are gradually learning how to work together effec- 
tively through the State Exchanga But aside from the creation of 
these organizations the educational advance is astonishing. Where, 
three years since, there was almost absolute ignorance of the processes 
of marketing, there is now a general intelligence which renders the 
manipulations and deceptions which were formerly common utterly 
impossible The competition of the codperative societies has led to 
such an improvement in the service rendered by commission houses as 
alone to repay an hundredfold the cost of the codperative effort, and in 
these and other indirect ways the benefits of co5peration are felt and 
acknowledged by alL There is danger, however, that growers, finding 
no present saving in the cost of marketing, wiU not persist in codpera- 
tion until the managers of societies have learned the business so well 
that they make the small saving in expense which is certainly possible 
by codperation. 

My duties as manager of the State Exchange have brought me into 
close contact with our local organizations, old and new, and, with my 
previous experience as an officer of the Santa Clara County Exchange, 
have given me a wide range of observation of the practical working of 
what now promises to be a distinctive feature of modem social life. 
As a result of this observation I cannot say that I have yet reached 
many definite conclusions, but I have noted some things, and may be 
able to make some reflections of value to social students. 

Codperation is socialism in the sense that what we are seeking to 
do is in the direct line of the socialistic theory. We seek to cause the 
same labor, when expended with equal judgment, to bring to all the 



COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 373 

same reward. K we farmers can by voluntary association successfully 
accomplish our aims, we shall dispense with much unnecessary labor 
and uncertainty, of which our products now bear the cost, to the de- 
cided profit of the producer or consumer, as the case may be ; we shall 
direct our labor into the most productive channels, and we shall do, and 
get the profit of doing, for ourselves, many things which we now hire 
others to do. If a community can organize and keep itself organized for 
marketing its products, it may be able to organize for other industrial 
purposes ; and State socialism, if it ever comes, will be but enacting 
into law the terms of the established life of the community, which is 
what I suppose Socialists expect The fact that we are attempting 
this on a larger scale than elsewhere seems to make our movement an 
interesting subject for study. 

For the present I believe that we must confine codperative effort to 
very simple matters, which are familiar to most of those coSperat- 
ing. Cooperative stores, codperative mills, coSperative canning com- 
panies, I constantly warn farmers against touching. They are almost 
always promoted by some one desiring a place for which he is not 
fit, and usually come to griel I draw the line at all cooperative 
enterprises involving the purchase of material or merchandise to be 
sold again. These are unsafe for farmers in their present state of de- 
velopment The objects of our societies are very simple : they are, 
first, to inform ourselves, before selling, of the condition of the market, 
— ^remembering that our market is thousands of miles away ; second, 
to increase our market by proper advertising at the general expense, 
and by ensuring honest and uniform packing ; third, to ensure the sale of 
our own labor to as great an extent as possible, by doing for ourselves 
whatever we do not find it more profitable to hire others to do ; fourth, 
to obtain for our product in each year whatever the conditions of the 
market warrant ; fifth, to eliminate from the process of marketing all 
unnecessary labor; and sixth, to prevent speculation by refusing to sell 
until our product is ready, and then selling at the market price, keeping 
our goods in our own possession until sold. This is all that we try to 
do, and we find even this sufficiently complex for farmers to deal witL 

It is evident that if one capable person owned all the orchards in 
California, the above are in the main the lines upon which he would 
work. The question to be solved is whether some thousands of grow- 
ers can so organize as to attain these ends. It is plain that our product 
will be more wisely marketed under a single direction, provided that 
direction be competent ; and this raises the crucial question not only of 



374 COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 

codperation but of socialism. Can a community so organize as to bestow 
the management of its larger industrial aflfairs on the fittest ? While, as I 
have said, it will be to the advantage of all to have the business of all 
managed by the most capable, it will be a distinct disadvantage if it 
falls into the hands of the incompetent ; and it is said that socialism 
would be the reign of mediocrity. In competitive society this of course 
arranges itself : whoever feels an aptitude for business seeks it, and if 
business prospers in his hands it increases, and his reward is correspond- 
ingly great In a cooperative or socialistic society, what are to be the 
inducements to the most competent to devote days and nights to study, 
and to submit to the constant strain of strenuous exertion by which 
alone the rewards of business success can be attained, and by which 
alone business can be successfully managed ? Of course, no one who 
is competent to deal with these subjects, and who has had occasion to 
deal with them, has failed to consider this problem ; but if any solution 
has been given I have failed to meet with it, and it comes home to me 
with the greater force as I am now face to face with a concrete example 
of it, — and the illustrative value of an actual case may excuse the 
necessary personal allusion. 

I am holding a position * for which I am incompetent, and which I 
do not desire. Hundreds of orchardists are looking to me for advice 
which I am incompetent to give, for the lack of such knowledge and 
experience aa will support strong convictions. I am supposed to be 
as competent as any one available, or we should secure a better man ; 
we need the service of one trained not only in commercial life, but in 
our special line, and although we know many who could do what we 
need done, we know no one who is not now better situated than he 
would be in any employment we could giva The farmer has no con- 
ception of the labor and expense required to obtain the knowledge 
wisely to direct large aflfairs, nor any notion of the strain of business. 
He does not know — and will not believe — that it is far more exhaust- 
ing to dictate letters and decide business questions all day than to 
split rails for the same length of time ; nor that those to whom large 
aflfairs are entrusted must mingle, out of business hours, with others 
doing business in a large way, and that this involves serious expense. 
We could get a capable man in my place in a week if we could pay him 
and ensure him permanence in oflice ; but at the annual meeting a party 

* Since writing this paper I have resigned as manager of the Ebcchange, but in 
revising it I have decided to let this paragraph stand as giving a more lively 
presentation of the difficulty than I could now write. 



COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 375 

would be quite sure to develop in favor of " economy " and against 
" fat salaries," and our capable man, if he were not displaced, would be 
made very uncomfortable and very uncertain of his futura 

CoSperation, like socialism, seems to offer no career to capable men ; 
it does offer a career to the demagogue, and to the haK-competent to 
whom the stipend which the farmer will consent to pay is something 
not otherwise attainable. This is the first difficulty we have to meet 
Socialism has hitherto been destructive only ; let constructive Socialism 
b^n by proclaiming the principles upon which its rewards for com- 
petence and responsibility shall be apportioned, and its methods of 
ascertaining relative competenca In competitive society the capable 
man fights his way to the control of large affairs, and to the profit and 
respect which attends it Himself an expert, as he needs assistance he 
selects it wisely, and from his assistants the ablest are likely to continue 
his business or to found new establishments. In cooperation the man- 
agement is chosen by those less competent than the management needs 
to be, and often not qualified to judge either of the qualifications 
required or of the fact of their possession by the men of their choice. I 
do not see how it can be otherwise in any form of socialistic society. A 
study of cooperation should foreshadow the possibilities of socialism. 
The good of the conmiunity requires that important affairs be managed 
by able men. The management of a coSperative society is hampered 
from the start by difficulties never encountered by the managers of 
ordinary commercial houses. It must not only transact the business 
entrusted to it, but must hold its constituency together to get the busi- 
ness. In competitive society the agent is at least sure of the support 
of his employers ; in cooperation his employers are quite likely to desert 
him at any minute, and then hold him responsible for the consequences 
of their own desertion. 

Like others of my age, I know many men ; and the chief difference 
I find among them is the number of facts pertaining to or affecting his 
own business, that each knows accurately. When two men, however 
different their walks of life, know each substantially the same facts, I 
find almost no difference in the conclusions they derive from thenu It 
seems to me that men differ less in logical faculty than in any other. 
The farmer knows almost nothing of the facts or routine of commercial 
life, and, being ignorant, is easily deceived ; being often deceived, he 
becomes suspicious ; and, being more often deceived by those who pro- 
fess to serve him than by others, he is especially suspicious of that 
cla8& This renders it very difficidt to hold them together in coopera- 



Ste COOPERATION AMONG FARMERS. 

tive work. The enthusiasm of a public meeting may easily cement 
them, but they are prone to fall asunder while the mortar is still green. 
Those who prey upon popular ignorance and weakness must necessarily 
dislike the progress of co5peration, which they invariably seek to 
defeat, not by attacking its principles, but by impugning the motives 
of those actively promoting it, — and to such insinuations or open charges 
farmers lend very ready ears. It is not unreasonable that they should, 
for there is now no commercial reason why capable men should take 
charge of cooperative affairs ; and those who can be moved to do so by 
sentimental reasons are not at all sure to be commercially competent 
In fact, as matters now stand, I think the chances two to one tlwtt if a 
codperative leader is capable, he is dishonest, and that, if he is honest, 
he is incapabla' In a blind sort of way farmers feel this, and thesreat 
infirmities of human nature-la«k of eiact knowledge^d finn ^- 
make them easy to deceive and then easy to lead. 

These are some of the fundamental difficulties with which we have 
to deal in codperation, as they appear to one who is earnestly trying to 
surmount them. There are troubles of detail, of course, with which 
this paper has no concern. We are dealing with these difficulties in 
California to the best of our ability, and the aggregate of encouragement 
is very large ; but so, alas, is the aggregate of discouragement What 
the outcome may be, of course we know not, but we who have hope 
and courage expect to succeed. 

The world cannot afford to conamit its large affairs to mediocrity, 
nor can it afford, as the price of competence, the power to oppress. 
Whoever will devise plans whereby cooperation may be assured of 
competent and honest direction, shall deserve of his fellow men a 
monument higher than Mount Ararat 

Edward P. ADAMa 

' I suppose I must be considered a leader in codperation, but in confessing, as 
I have above, my incapacity, I have selected my horn of this dilemma. Besides, 
I am sure that some are both capable and honest 



A GENERATION OF COLLEGE WOMEN. 

• 

Vassar CioLLEGE reached its thirtieth birthday in September, 1895. 
Its brief existence practically covers the whole period of advanced 
education for women. Vassar opened its doors in September, 1865; 
Smith and Wellesley were established ten years later ; Bryn Mawr, 
ten years later still ; and the chief co-educational universities — Boston, 
Cornell, Michigan, and others — date from the neighborhood of 1870. 
Woman's opportunities for degree-taking are too numerous and too 
widely known to be even recounted at the present time ; but there 
is a matter of kindred and greater interest about which almost no 
information has been collected. This is the subsequent career of the 
graduates. What becomes of the students after leaving college? 
What is the probable future of the girls who are now marching in 
battalions to our different educational institutions ? 

From the " Vassar General Catalogue," the " Alumnae Register," 
and the " Vassar Miscellany " (the college monthly) it is possible to 
gather tolerably complete information about the occupations of a thou- 
sand and more women who have received the degree of A.B. As 
Vassar is the oldest of the woman's colleges, and as these institutions 
have many more points of likeness than of unlikeness, its record may 
be taken as broadly typical of others. 

The scientific student will at once see the difficulty of reaching 
exact conclusions. In the first place it is impossible to write the 
history of a living institution, especially of one so young as a woman's 
coUega Again, it is beyond human power to get absolutely correct 
data for any census. Figures will always lie, no matter how carefully 
percentages are deduced. But as the average mortal likes to see 
" where he is at," it is hoped that the following statements may be of 
interest as throwing light upon one of the most important of contem- 
porary movements. If the reader will only agree not to learn the 
facts by heart in order to quote them ten years hence, the writer may 
hope to convey a fairly correct impression. 

Vassar College has graduated twenty-nine classes, containing 1,182 
membera As the class of '95, numbering 100, has made no record of 
any sort, it is obviously unfair to include it for statistical purposes ; 



818 A GENERATION OF COLLEGE WOMEN. 

hence the following computations will be based upon a total of 1,082 
graduates, embracing all the classes between *67 and '94, inclusive, and 
including all alumnae who have been graduated one year or more. 

The first question everybody is impatient to ask is. Do collie 
women marry ? Before I bring forth the fatal facts, let me tell the 
story of the young man to whom an eccentric uncle bequeathed a 
fortune on condition that he lived and died a bachelor. As it could 
not be determined until after the young man was dead whether or not 
he would fulfil the conditions of the will, the court decreed that the 
legacy could not be paid. In like manner, as most of the Vassar 
women are not yet dead, it is impossible to present other than tentative 
matrimonial statistics. The record to date is this : Of 1,082 alumnae, 
409 have married, — a trifle less than 88 per cent of the whola As 
the " Miscellany " reports marriages every month, this percentage will 
be inaccurate before even another class has been graduated. A truer 
proportion may be found by taking the records of some of the earlier 
classes. The first class ('67) numbered four members : of these, three 
have married, — 75 per cent The class of '68 had twenty-five members : 
fifteen of these — or 60 per cent — have annexed another name to that 
on their college diploma. Of the thirty-four members of '69, there are 
twenty-one married, or not quite 62 per cent The class of '70 presents 
nearly the same record: of the thirty-four members, twenty-two are 
married, or, as Miss Coffin of '70, a gifted artist, stated at the last 
alumnae luncheon: "Our matrons — ^in our class two-thirds of the 
whole number — ^have allayed the terrors of man lest he be left a 
forlorn bachelor wandering at the foot of the mountains of science and 
art, while woman, in her maiden robes, disappear from sight in the 
clouds of the sununit" The last of these four classes has just cele- 
brated its quarter-centennial According to Mr. Charles Francis Adams, 
by the time a man has been twenty-five years out of college he has 
either failed or won in the battle of lif a Assuming that a woman's 
occupation and prospects would be settled by that time, it may be 
stated that, in the first four classes of Vassar, sixty-one of the ninety- 
seven members— or about 63 per cent — ^have married: a little less than 
two-thirds of the whole number. A college woman's chances of 
marriage, then, are about two to one : but even this will not do for an 
absolute statement ; for, as matrimony can be entered upon at a greater 
age than almost any other profession, it is quite possible that the semi- 
centennial of these classes may show an increased percentage in that 
direction. The average age of students upon graduating from Yassar 



A GENERATION OF COLLEGE WOMEN. STQ 

is twenty-two years and some montha The late Maria Mitchell used 
to say, " Vassar girls marry kte, but they many well" Let ns hope 
that time may not disprove her observations. 

The time-honored profession of teaching ranks next to matrimony 
in engaging-the attention of Vassar women. Of 1,082 graduates, 408--- 
or 87.6 per cent — are recorded as teachers. Some of these have taught 
only two or three years ; perhaps less than half the number have made 
the profession a life-work. Upon referring to the records of the first 
four classes we find but eighteen out of the ninety-seven members — or 
about 18.83 per cent — ^now engaged in teaching. Many Vassar women 
have attained high rank in the educational profession. Vassar has 
furnished professors and instructors to Vassar, Smith, and Wellesley 
Colleges ; an instructor to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ; 
instructors to several co-educational colleges; a dean to Barnard 
College; and principals and teachers to normal and high schools and to 
academies. In private-school work Vassar's influence has been larga 
Within the last few years the colleges have transformed the girls' 
private schools of this country, and much of this result is due to 
Vassar women, many of whom now control schools of their own. 

Next in number to those who have engaged in imparting knowledge 
stands the group of women who have gone on acquiring knowledge 
for themselves. There is scepticism in some quarters about the 
value of college degrees. Many people outside educational circles 
r^ard the titled recipients as the man did his dog. A stranger 
approached the carefidly specialized specimen of the canine race 
and asked, "Is that a bird-dog?" "No." "Is he a watch-dog?" 
"No." " Does he know any tricks ? " "No." "What in thunder 
is he good for, then?" "Nawthin*, but to take prizes at dog- 
shows." It is true that the magic letters, A.M. and PLC, stand for 
acquisition rather than achievement, but their value in the realm of 
scholarship is high, and woman's colleges would have proved but 
half their point if they had not shown the ability of their students to 
take rank in the graduate as well as in the undei*graduate world. 
The graduate record of Vassar to June, 1895, is as follows: fifty 
have received the degree of A.M.; eight have received the degree of 
PLD. (five of them from Yale) ; three, the degree of S.B. (Institute of 
Technology); two, that of LL.B.; and one, that of LL.D., — sixty-four 
in alL As far as can be ascertained, twenty-two are at present study- 
ing for advanced degrees. There is one student at each of the foreign 
TmiverBities at Heidelberg, Leipsic, Gdttingen, Geneva, Dresden, and 



880 A GENERATION OF COLLEGE WOMEN. 

Brussels ; and in our own country, Radclife, Yale, and the University 
of Chicago each claims several students. Four Yassar women also hold 
fellowships at the University of Chicago. Many other graduates have 
pursued special studies for longer or shorter periods at American and 
foreign universities. If we count in those who have pursued advanced 
courses of a strictly professional nature, we must add the physicians. 
There are twenty-five who have taken the degree of M.D. There are 
seven more who are now studying medicine at the Johns Hopkins and 
New York medical collies, and at Chicago and Michigan universities. 
The general statement can then be made that eighty-nine graduates 
have taken the degrees of A.M., PLD., M.D., S.B., LL.B., and LL.D., 
and that twenty-nine are now pursuing advanced studies with that end 
in view. This is a total of 118, or nearly one-ninth of the entire 
number of Yassar alumnae. 

Literary work ranks next in order. Forty-seven graduates (not 
including writers of scientific papers, who are classed by themselves), 
have furnished matter for the printing-press. Nearly every magazine 
and review in this country, and some in England, and most of the 
prominent American daily and weekly papers, have published con- 
tributions from Yassar women. The forty-seven workers are divided 
as follows: twenty-four write for magazines and newspapers; six 
write for newspapers alone; there are five r^ular journalists; four 
authors of novels and children's books ; four editors of papers ; two 
editors of collections of poetry ; and two authors of books on physical 
training. If Yassar has not yet startled the world with a genius " On 
Fame's etemall beadroU worthie to be fyled," she has at least 
contributed something to cultiva